BBC Sport football

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 06:01 GMT, Saturday, 1 August 2009 07:01 UK

Football honours Sir Bobby Robson

Sir Bobby Robson
Robson has earned admiration from around the football world

Leading figures from the world of football and politics have paid tribute to Sir Bobby Robson after his death at the age of 76 following a long battle with cancer.

Robson was a renowned and revered figure in football and led England to the World Cup semi-finals at Italia 90, the closest they have come to repeating their 1966 success on home soil.

Fellow managers, his former players, Prime Ministers past and present, and the presidents of Fifa and Uefa were among those saluting his life and achievements.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson mourned the passing of a "great friend, a wonderful individual and tremendous football man."

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair called him "one of the nicest, most caring and genuine people I ever met - a real Geordie gentleman".

Here is a selection of the tributes paid by the football fraternity and others to one of the game's most respected and popular figures.

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER SIR ALEX FERGUSON

"I was never too big or proud to ask him for advice which he gave freely and unconditionally. And I'm sure I am speaking for a lot of people when I say that.

Nobody had Robson's passion - Ferguson

"In my 23 years working in England there is not a person I would put an inch above Bobby Robson. I mourn the passing of a great friend, a wonderful individual, a tremendous football man and somebody with passion and knowledge of the game that was unsurpassed.

"His character was hewn out of the coal face, developed by the Durham mining background that he came from. His parents instilled in him the discipline and standards which forged the character of a genuinely colossal human being. He added his own qualities to that which then he passed on to his sons.

"The strength and courage he showed over the past couple of years when battling against his fifth bout of cancer was indescribable. Always a smile, always a friendly word with never a mention of his own problems.

"The world, not just the football world, will miss him. Let's hope it won't be long before another like him turns up because we could never get enough of them."

FORMER ENGLAND MIDFIELDER PAUL GASCOIGNE
Paul Gascoigne at the 1990 World Cup

"I'm speechless. I'm devastated. Bobby was like my second dad. I was like a son to him.

"I can't describe how much he meant to me. I've just been crying for three hours, and I've come to see my mum and my dad. It's just unbelievable.

"He gave me a chance to play in the World Cup. I can't really talk that much because I just want to cry, that's all.

"I love him. And his wife Elsie - I'll always be there for her. I'm sort of numb."

FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN BRYAN ROBSON
Bryan Robson

"He called me his Captain Marvel and it stuck for the rest of my playing career. It made me very proud but it was only typical of the respect he earned from myself and the rest of the dressing room.

"I have never come across anybody with such a passion for football. We had a tremendous personal relationship as manager and skipper.

"Any criticism he had of a player was kept very private and publicly he gave all of us his total backing.

"We stayed pretty close even towards the end and, along with many other friends, I enjoyed his company in Portugal playing in his Golf Classic. He will be missed by everybody who knew him."

WORLD CUP WINNER BOBBY CHARLTON
Bobby Charlton

"Bobby Robson was such a genuine person. So kind, so generous. I cant say enough about him. Even these last few years when he's been so ill, to still considered other people other than himself is just unbelievable.

"I'll think of him as someone gracious and kind whenever I've wanted to speak to him about anything. He's been magical for the game itself.

"I played with him in the early 60s and he was a marvellous player.

"He was so in love with the game in every way and he will be missed by all those who love the game.

"He was proud of where he came from. In the north east there was always an in built work ethic and in football terms he had that ethic. He knew how to get the best out of the efforts he put into it."

PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN
Prime minister Gordon Brown

"I was extremely saddened to hear of the death of Sir Bobby Robson. I had the privilege of meeting Bobby on many occasions. He epitomised everything that is great about football in this country.

"His passion, patriotism, dedication and professionalism knew no equal during his time both as a player and a manager.

"His remarkable achievements as manager of Ipswich Town and then of England are among the most distinguished in English football history, and he was able to replicate that extraordinary success during his time at PSV Eindhoven, Porto and Barcelona.

"Over the past few years, he fought cancer with his characteristic tenacity and good humour.

"He will be sorely missed - not only in Newcastle and Ipswich, both of whom he served with such devotion, but by all sports fans in our country. My sincere condolences go to his wife Elsie and his family."

INTER MILAN BOSS JOSE MOURINHO
Jose Mourinho

"Bobby Robson is one of those people who never die, not so much for what he did in his career, for one victory more or less, but for what he knew to give to those who had, like me, the good fortune to know him and walk by his side," said Mourinho, who was Robson's assistant at Barcelona.

"My thoughts and embraces go to all his loved ones."

SCOTLAND MANAGER GEORGE BURLEY (& EX-IPSWICH PLAYER)
George Burley

"It was a big decision for me and my parents to make such a long journey at that age," said Burley, who played under Robson after leaving his home in Ayrshire to join Ipswich as a 15-year-old.

"But Sir Bobby was like a father to me, taking a personal interest in me right from the start, always checking whether I was happy. His support and enthusiasm was the perfect cure for homesickness and helped my career to get off the ground and thrive.

606: YOUR TRIBUTES
GeordiO_1981

"I went on to play over 500 games for Ipswich in a side that drew inspiration from its manager. From 1972 we qualified for European competitions nine out of 10 years which was remarkable considering the size of our squad and our standing as a small-town club. That was all down to his man-management, tactics and judgement.

"I could not possibly get my head round how my career would have gone had it not been for Sir Bobby Robson. I owe him everything and I only hope I can be guided by the example he showed me."

ENGLAND MANAGER FABIO CAPELLO
Fabio Capello

"Sir Bobby was a wonderful man, a real gentleman. I remember very well the times I managed my teams against him.

"The first time being when Bobby was manager of Barcelona and I was in my first season with Real Madrid. Later, when he was Newcastle manager and I was with Roma we faced each other - as opponents, but always friends.

"Of course, I recall Bobby as a manager with Ipswich, but more so with England. To manage the national team for so long was a remarkable achievement, and we all remember how close he came to leading England to the World Cup Final in Italy.

He will never be forgotten. He really was a great man

Fabio Capello

"He was a fantastic man, and loved by so many people. His spirit and courage was incredible. To fight cancer so many times really showed the strength of the man.

"All the time we spoke over a cup of coffee with his close family, his passion for football shone through.

"He loved the game and was extremely proud of his country and the North East region.

"It's extremely sad that Sir Bobby has lost his final fight against cancer, but he will never be forgotten. He really was a great man."

FORMER NEWCASTLE CHAIRMAN FREDDY SHEPHERD
Freddy Shepherd

"It's very sad, especially on Tyneside. The whole of Tyneside will be grieving. Sir Bobby Robson was a great man and will be sorely missed.

"I worked with him for five years every day. He was certainly the best manager I ever worked with at Newcastle. He never put me under pressure and always tried to see my side.

"He wouldn't put up with fools and didn't take any nonsense. He came across as a very kind guy but underneath was very tough. He thought about football 24 hours a day and he would ring me at all hours of the day and never stopped thinking about football."

BARCELONA COACH PEP GUARDIOLA
(who played under Robson in the 1996/97 campaign)
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola

"It was a pleasure to know him, not only as a coach but also as a person. It was a marvellous experience.

"It was a very difficult season, even though we won three trophies. Despite the problems of that year, he never lost his composure and always behaved like a gentleman."

FORMER ENGLAND STRIKER PETER BEARDSLEY
Peter Beardsley during his England days

"He protected the players. We didn't always play well but whatever was said in those four walls, nothing ever left the dressing room. That was a sign of the man. He was a player's man, first and foremost.

"He was prepared to make the brave decisions. He had a courage and conviction about himself.

"I've worked with some great managers but he's right up there. There have been some special words about him but not enough because he was that special."

FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT PRINCE WILLIAM
Prince William

"I am deeply saddened to hear about Sir Bobby Robson's death.

"His contribution to English football as a player, manager and superb ambassador for our national game has been immense.

"He will be sadly missed by football fans everywhere, and I am thinking about his family at this difficult time."

FORMER ENGLAND AND BARCELONA BOSS TERRY VENABLES
Terry Venables

"It is a really sad day. He has always been a fighter and he has really fought everything that has been thrown at him but he has just run out of luck this time.

"We came across each other many times whether on ITV for World Cups, or playing against each other - we go back that far.

"You just thought he was indestructible and he would get over everything, but of course it comes to everybody. He has been suffering for a while and he has shown great bravery and always in a dignified fashion.

"He has been a credit to everybody, he has been a credit to his country, his family and himself. I spoke to him five weeks ago on the phone and he was as you imagine to be, still talking about football and he was trying hard to battle away."

FORMER ENGLAND MANAGER GRAHAM TAYLOR
Graham Taylor

"I first met Bobby in the very early 70s when I was a young manager at Lincoln City, just finding my way.

"I met him on a coaching course at Lilleshall. From that meeting, he invited myself to spend a day with him at Ipswich to see what he was doing, what he was trying to do.

"He was so enthusiastic. For a manager to do that for a young manager now, you don't get that too often. So I owe Bobby Robson a lot."

FORMER ENGLAND MANAGER SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON
Sven-Goran Erikkson

"First of all he was beyond football a great man, one of the kindest people I ever met.

"He helped me a great deal when I was a young coach and I visited him in Ipswich. He took me, an unknown coach from Sweden, down into the dug-out and explained the tactics.

"The year after Ipswich won the Uefa Cup, my team Gothenburg won it and he came and presented the trophy to me.

"When I became coach of England I called him many times and he was always generous with his advice and helpful.

"It seems he was as friendly to everybody as he was to me. In fact for me, he was the special one."

UEFA PRESIDENT MICHEL PLATINI

"He will be remembered not only for his playing career and his outstanding managerial career at both club and international level, but also because he was a truly warm and passionate human being."



Print Sponsor


see also
Robson tributes in photos
01 Aug 09 |  Football
Legend Sir Bobby Robson, 76, dies
31 Jul 09 |  Football
Robson was gentleman of game
31 Jul 09 |  Football
Robson in his own words
31 Jul 09 |  Football
Sir Bobby Robson's life in photos
31 Jul 09 |  Football
Your tributes to Sir Bobby Robson
31 Jul 09 |  Football
The disease that stalked Sir Bobby
31 Jul 09 |  Health
PM 'saddened' by Robson's death
31 Jul 09 |  UK Politics
Archive - Sports Personality honours Sir Bobby
03 Nov 08 |  Sports Personality
Football match honours Sir Bobby
26 Jul 09 |  England


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.