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TALKING SHOP - Robson tribute

Posted on 30 January 2002  - 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).

Director of football David Pleat writes a personal tribute to his friend and Newcastle United manager Bobby Robson


BOBBY ROBSON HAS always had time for young managers - and that is why he is so popular among all the younger breed who look up to him.

He has an amazing appetite for the game. A few weeks ago I went with him as a guest to a big charity dinner on a Friday evening in Park Lane. The following day Newcastle were playing Charlton and I really thought they were going to break their London hoodoo.

It was quite incredible. Bob is 69 and is the perfect ambassador for his club, speaking with people freely - many less fortunate than himself.

The following day, unfortunately for Bobby, wasn't so successful but they did achieve half a loaf with a 2-2 draw.

While abroad at clubs like PSV and Barcelona, I always kept in touch with him because I was always interested in what was going on in those countries. I think that this spell re-invigorated his thirst for management.

A lot of the paperwork, transfer business and dragging up and down motorways to watch players was taken away from him. He was re-born doing a job where he just had the responsibility of coaching the players.

This he did in such fine fashion and looked after some of the greats of the game during his time overseas.

Having had eight years as England manager, there are few people within the game that Bobby hasn't come into contact with.

It is somewhat ironic that on the night of the Charity event in London, Bob was asked to do a presentation and the MC called out 'please give a warm hand to Sir Bobby Robson'!

We found it quite amusing on our table that someone had suggested to the unsuspecting MC that Bobby had already been knighted. Strangely enough, a week or so after this incident, that we looked on with some hilarity, it was being mooted that Bobby should be honoured for his services to football.

I sincerely hope that this will be the case. When you look at people like Bill Nicholson and Bobby, who have given their whole lives unselfishly to the game, often at the expense of their families - their single-minded visions fully deserve such an honour.

Bobby is not only an ambassador, he is a gentleman and always a good sportsman. He knows how to accept losing as well as the many fine days he has enjoyed winning.