Sir Alex Ferguson will lead the tributes to the great Sir Bobby Robson, in what is sure to be an emotional service of thanksgiving at Durham Cathedral today.
John Carver with Bobby at Newcastle
Sir Alex Ferguson and Gary Lineker will pay tribute at Sir Bobby Robson’s memorial service.
Some of the leading figures from world football will attend the memorial service at Durham Cathedral this afternoon:
- The Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson will address a 1,000-strong gathering that will converge on Durham to celebrate Robson’s life.
- Gary Lineker, who played for England under Robson at both the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, will pay his respects to the former Ipswich and Newcastle manager, who died July 31st at the age of 76, following a long fight against cancer.
- Sports writer Paul Hayward, who wrote Robson’s memoirs, and the former England manager’s friend Tom Wilson, will also give speeches, along with Bobby’s Newcastle-based cancer specialist Professor Ruth Plummer.
- Current England head coach Fabio Capello will pay his respects at the service, which starts at 2:00 pm.
- Former England managers Terry Venables, Steve McClaren, Sven Goran Eriksson and Graham Taylor will also be at the ceremony.
- FA Director Sir Trevor Brooking will represent the FA and be be among the invited guests.
- Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer, Robson’s former England players and local to the Newcastle area, will attend the ceremony.
- The President of Barcelona, Joan Laporta, will lead a delegation of officials from the Catalan club to Durham aCthedral to remember Robson’s career at Barcelona – he won the European Cup-Winners’ Cup to the Nou Camp in 1997, with the help of a certain assistant – Jose Mourinho – who learned well from the master.
- The Ashington-born Charlton brothers, Jack and Sir Bobby. who were players in England’s only team ever to win the World Cup, when England beat Germany in 1966, after extra time – will also attend.
- Current Ipswich manager Roy Keane will represent the Portman Road club where Robson built his reputation as a manager with a tremendous record of achievement from 1969 until he took the England job in 1982.
- The Welsh soprano, Katherine Jenkins, will sing at the service as will Tenors Unlimited, who will sing Nessun Dorma – made famous in Italy by the Three Tenors.
- Newcastle manager, Chris Hughton, will tale the entire Newcastle first-team squad to the service, representing Bobby’s home town club, which he loved with a passion. Chris said on Sunday:down the A1 for the occasion, said:
“He was a very special person who would always make you come away from a meeting almost with a glow about you because of the way he made you feel.”
Bobby was one of the most loved people in football around the world, and this promises to be a very emotional service and we’ll be ssurprised if there are many dry eyes during the service.
Rest in peace Sir Bobby Robson.