Birthday boy eyes Euro glory

Last updated : 18 February 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Today’s papers are full of tributes to Sir Bobby, yet these are the same papers that hounded him out of the country when he was England manager.

Perhaps the most meaningful tribute to Sir Bobby is simply to note that he is still working at the top level of the game he loves.

Lets hope that the team pay their respects to the manager in the way he’ll appreciate best – by gaining an important Champions League victory.

But just for the record here are my favourite (rather Newcastle centric) Sir Bobby moments – although I’m sure you’ll have your own.

  1. His appointment as manager of Newcastle in 1999 – a welcome relief after the dismal Gullit era, which had ended in defeat by the Mackems while sections of the St James’ Park crowd chanted "Bobby Robson’s Black and White army".
  2. Guides England to the semi-final of the 1990 World Cup despite constant press criticism and people questioning his sanity for selecting a certain Paul Gascoigne.
  3. His cheeky bid to bring Ronaldo to St James’ Park on –loan during his first season at Newcastle.
  4. The signing of Craig Bellamy after his spell at Coventry had been so bad that no other manager would touch him. Legend has it that a Coventry fan actually thanked Sir Bobby for taking Bellamy off their hands – I have a feeling that fan may feel rather embarrassed about the incident now.
  1. Alan Shearer receives the now legendary pep talk that reinvigorated his career, with Robson telling him exactly what was wrong with his game in no uncertain terms.
  2. Newcastle beat Sheffield Wednesday 8-0 in his first home game in charge.
  3. Deservedly awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
  4. Qualification for the second phase of the Champions League with Craig Bellamy’s last minute winner in Feyenoord.
  5. On being told that he will be replaced as manager of Barcelona at the end of the season he guides the Catalans to three major trophies and leaves the club president with egg on his face.
  6. Discovers the Lineker - Beardsley strike partnership that guides England to the quarter-final of the World Cup in 1986 and the semi-final in 1990.