The story appears on

Page A15

August 1, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Soccer

Fergie leads Robson tributes

DESCRIBING Bobby Robson as a colossal man with extraordinary enthusiasm, Fabio Capello, Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and FIFA president Sepp Blatter led tributes to the former England manager, who died aged 76 yesterday after a long struggle with cancer.

Prince William, president of the Football Association, said the much traveled coach was also a superb ambassador for our national game, Prime Minister Gordon Brown praised Robson's passion, patriotism, dedication and professionalism, and European champion Barcelona, one of his former clubs, said he was an authentic legend of world football.

Robson took England to the World Cup semifinal in 1990 when it was beaten by West Germany on penalties and had club successes on home soil and in Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.

"It is difficult to accept such a person is no longer with us but he is immortal because he leaves in everybody who knows him a mark of his personality. A great coach but, more than that, a great person," said Mourinho, who worked under Robson at Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto and Barcelona. "I hadn't spoken to him in the last two months because it was hard for me. It was me who found it hard because I didn't want to think that he was dying, that wasn't the image that I wanted to keep with me forever of Bobby Robson, that wasn't the voice I wanted to hear.

"I wanted to and I will keep with me always the Bobby Robson of every day, a person who had extraordinary passion for life and for football, with an extraordinary enthusiasm."

Manchester United manager Ferguson saw Robson as a friend as well as a rival. "In my 23 years working in England there is not a person I would put an inch above Bobby Robson," said Ferguson. "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 County mining background that he came from."

Capello praised Robson's courage and spirit in the face of his illness.

"He was a fantastic man, and loved by so many people. His spirit and courage was incredible," the Italian said. "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."

Blatter described Robson as one of the greatest personalities in football. "He always showed great passion for the game and will be missed by all football fans across the globe," the FIFA president said. "On behalf of the worldwide football family, I would like to thank Sir Bobby Robson for his memorable contribution to the beautiful game."

Robson's last job as a manager was with his hometown club Newcastle, where the players and staff held a minute's silence yesterday.

"He will be sadly missed by everyone, not just by people in the football world but from all walks of life," said former England striker Alan Shearer. "It's a very sad day for everyone, especially his family, his close friends and anyone who's ever worked with him."

Robson's death came five days after he appeared in a wheelchair at Newcastle's St James' Park on Sunday when thousands of fans crowded into the stadium to pay tribute to him and raise funds for his cancer charity.

Newcastle's ground stayed open much of the day for fans to leave flowers and tributes and Ipswich, another of his former clubs, opened a book of remembrance ahead of a preseason friendly with Spanish club Real Valladolid.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend