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Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 14:50 UK

Lineker and Shearer pay tribute to Sir Bobby

Gary Lineker
By Gary Lineker
BBC Sport presenter and former England striker

Gary Lineker and Sir Bobby Robson
Despite his illness he concentrated his efforts on raising money and helping others and that is the measure of the man

It is a sad day and a great loss. He was such a wonderful man, a very popular figure and will be deeply missed by everybody in the country.

I presented the show when he received his lifetime award at Sports Personality of the Year. It was a very emotive evening and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. It was great to have that tribute.

They often happen too late but at least it was a chance for Bobby to experience the love of the nation.

Bobby was hugely significant in my career and gave me my chance to play for England. I played in two World Cups under him and I never played under a more enthusiastic man in football.

He was fiercely loyal to his players and got the best out of them. He trusted them and gave them huge respect. Players had great love for Bobby and he was the sort of guy you wanted to perform for.

I hadn't scored for a while and he could have even left me out at the 1986 World Cup. The press were calling for changes but he was very strong and not easily swayed.

He was a very passionate man and he was not happy with the Diego Maradona handball incident in the quarter-finals. He always made it clear afterwards he felt we were cheated.

Paul Gascoigne & Gary Lineker

1990 Archive - West Germany v England

Bobby then took the England side to the 1990 World Cup semi-finals. That was a great achievement and we were a whisker away from the final.

Losing on penalties to West Germany was one of the great regrets of his career and for all those who played for him.

I remember him embracing (West Germany manager) Franz Beckenbauer afterwards. He never felt sorry for himself and we all had a great feeling of pride against what was a brilliant German side.

We were arguably the better team and it was all very disappointing, but he handled it all with such great dignity.

He was a Geordie through and through and it would have given Bobby a great thrill to manage at St James' Park in 1999.

I bet all those in control at the club at the time wish they would have stuck with him. He did brilliantly at a job that had huge expectations. They should have stuck with Bobby, no question.

Before that, at Ipswich he was one of the first to bring in foreign players and merge them into a successful team. They were a small-town club and to achieve that success was a terrific achievement. They were one of the great sides of that era.

He was unbelievably passionate about football - it was his life, along with his family. He loved it and gave so much and he always handled things properly because he was a proper bloke.

He battled cancer very bravely but he never complained. Despite his illness he concentrated his efforts on raising money and helping others and that really is the measure of the man.

Gary Lineker was speaking on the BBC News Channel

Alan Shearer on Sir Bobby
By Alan Shearer
Former England and Newcastle striker

I will always remember him being a great, great man - not only for football.

For me as an individual, he saved my career at Newcastle. Before he arrived I wasn't playing my football - I wasn't scoring and wasn't playing with a smile on my face and he came in and changed that all around.

It was the way he man-managed players - he had a knack of getting on with them and getting the best out of them - the experienced and younger players.

He knew what to do with me and how to deal with the team - but he kept us in the top flight and then got us into Europe.

Sir Bobby Robson and Alan Shearer
His natural ability with people was the measure of the man. He could deal with all situations

Whatever he did - whether it was football or in the last few years with charity raising millions of pounds - he put his heart and soul into it. He had great passion for whatever he did - he always worked hard at it and was always a success.

We'll all miss him tremendously. He had such huge presence, a huge voice and you've seen that by the reaction at the game he was at on Sunday at St James' Park.

There was a great turn-out from the fans but also the players - they came from all over the world. They got on the plane because of one man.

I'm sure there is a long list of people speaking very highly about him and rightly so, but you could go round and speak to anybody and nobody will have a bad word to say about him. You can't say that about too many people.

His man-management skills were excellent - working with players like Paul Gascoigne for example. His natural ability with people was the measure of the man - being able to put an arm around some players. He could deal with all situations.

He got a bad press at times as England boss, but all the people that gave him the bad press still got on really well with him and had total respect.

He came through all of that. Let's not forgot he fought this disease four or five times and it was only because of his age that it all caught up with him. But he gave it one hell of a fight. What a man he was.

Alan Shearer was speaking on the BBC News Channel and Radio 5 Live



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see also
Legend Sir Bobby Robson, 76, dies
31 Jul 09 |  Football
Robson was gentleman of game
31 Jul 09 |  Football
Football honours Sir Bobby Robson
01 Aug 09 |  Football
Robson 'saved my career' - Shearer
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
Football match honours Sir Bobby
26 Jul 09 |  England
Obituary - Sir Bobby Robson 1933-2009
31 Jul 09 |  Football
Archive - Sports Personality honours Sir Bobby
03 Nov 08 |  Sports Personality
1990 Archive - West Germany v England
23 Mar 09 |  Football


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