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Sir Bobby caps it for Clive

Posted on 12 March 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Clive Allen has good reason to be grateful to the boss of Sunday's opponents Newcastle, Sir Bobby Robson.

For it was Sir Bobby, England manager at the time, who handed Clive his first international honours while in charge of the national team. The association actually goes a little further as our reserve team coach reveals that he was a schoolboy player at Ipswich Town, who Robson departed to take on the England job.

Clive first appearance for England was in a game that will be long-remembered for John Barnes' mazy run and goal against Brazil that sealed a 2-0 win and Clive recalled that he was urging the then Watford winger to shoot.

"Yes, in 1984 Bobby handed me my first England caps just before I joined Spurs," reflected Clive. "I was with QPR at the time and went on a South American tour and fortunately enough for me I was a late call-up, I went on the trip, my first trip away with the senior squad and then won my first cap in that famous match against Brazil.

"Everyone remembers it for the spectacular John Barnes goal. I was on the bench and screaming for John to shoot but he kept going and going and the rest is history.

"I worked with Bobby for a number of years. I went as a schoolboy to Ipswich when he was manager there but it came down to a choice of Ipswich, Tottenham or QPR and I started my career at QPR."

Clive suspects that it is Sir Bobby's seemingly unquenchable enthusiasm for the the game that sees him still prowling the Premiership touchlines in his seventies.

"I've known Bobby for a long time and he's an incredible football man, that's the biggest compliment I can pay him. To stand the test of time for as long as he has and achieve what he has in the game is nothing short of miraculous.

"He's a real character. He does get names muddled up and whether it's on purpose or not, no-one has really found out. He's a cute cookie and knows his stuff in terms of football and seems to know everything about everyone.

"His knowledge is incredible. It's his passion for the game that comes through when you talk to him, he enthuses about football and that's one of the lasting memories I'll have of working with him."