Alex Ferguson’s Moving Tribute To Bobby Robson – His Inspiration

Sir Alex Ferguson gave a moving address yesterday on the influence that Sir Bobby Robson had on him as a manager.

Ferguson considered Bobby an inspiration.

bobby robson sad faces

Sad faces at the Bobby Robson memorial service yesterday
Alan Shearer, Fabio Capello, Alex Ferguson, Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker

Ferguson is without doubt the most successful manager in British football history, and he pointed to the fantastic legacy that Bobby left to the football world.

Alex said:

“It has been one of the privileges of my life to have met him and to have been enthused by him,” “He influenced me then and he’s always influenced me.”

“I think I speak for almost everyone here in football terms, he influenced me but what made him so special was he influenced people who didn’t know him. They admired his courage, his dignity, his enthusiasm.”

“He never lost that enthusiasm. That enthusiasm, you just can’t explain it, special people have got it.”

And we all know that when Ferguson was about to retire a few years ago, but then back-tracked, and it was Bobby himself who convinced Alex to stay on at Manchester United – or  should we say demanded that Alex stay on:

“It was not a question, it was a demand,” “You’re not retiring are you?’

“Of course I’m not’. Not after he’d said that.”

And Ferguson told the brutal truth as he addressed Bobby finally leaving the club after 5 magical years in charge – he was sacked – after Newcastle had finished 4th, 3rd and 5th in his last 3 seasons at his home town club, and we have been nowhere near ever since:

“I remember him leaving Newcastle because of old age,”

“That is a damning indictment of people’s age as he had the talent to go on and on.”

Bobby had invited Alex to Ipswich, to watch Bobby’s training methods, ahead of an Aberdeen UEFA Cup tie, which in fact the Scottish club won back in 1981:

“In true Robson fashion, he finished by saying ‘go and win it, anyone who can beat my Ipswich team must be able to win the cup’,”

Ferguson reminded everybody that Bobby was always loyal to his working-class roots in the North-East:

“He never forgot that. He always knew his roots,”

“Fantastic that he would do that, not to change his entire life. It’s a great talent that, not to change, to be the same person.”

“He fought his disease with incredible courage and resilience and showed you what his background was.”

It was a very sad day for Newcastle fans yesterday.

12 comments so far

  • Thump

    Sep 22, 2009 at 1:59 AM

    Comment #1

    It still amazes me that he held on for the charity game, but if it wasn’t for seeing him there, I don’t think I’d believe he was dead.


  • ginkoh

    Sep 22, 2009 at 4:27 AM

    Comment #2

    Sad we showed the tragic relegation to him in his last season. RIP the true legend, gentleman and true Geordies.

  • Toonmania

    Sep 22, 2009 at 7:23 AM

    Comment #3

    hearing those words from someone that is as arrogant as sir alex ferguson was just wonderful to hear, i’ve never been a fergie fan but it just goes to show how much of an influance on him the GREAT Sir Bobby Robson was and still is.

    Sir Bobby was a great man and will always be remembered in not just our great club, he made a great impression all around the world.

    Rest in Peace Sir Bobby
    Greatly Missed but Never Forgotton

  • Bigbadbob

    Sep 22, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    Comment #4

    Toonmania – I hate ManU due to the bullying nature of the club but dont be fooled by Fergusons professional image, i have met the man and he is a gentleman with a warm down to earth personality.
    He was the only one to speak without a script and he did so from the heart, he was sincere and has an affinity with the North East due his Govan background.
    His speech was a fitting tribute to SBR and i respect him even more for it.

  • shrews mag

    Sep 22, 2009 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #5

    Speaks volumes about the man that so many respected him, including Fergie who spoke from the heart.

    The official Ipswich website has a number of articles about the memorial service yesterday and the special shirt the players are wearing on Saturday.

    Pity the nufc official website does not pay tribute in some way. The hierarchy in the club should be ashamed.

    RIP Sir Bobby … a true gentleman.

  • batty

    Sep 22, 2009 at 8:43 AM

    Comment #6

    Toonmania i just see fergie as straight forward not arrogant and his winde ups are brill calling rafa disturbed lol

  • Jay jay

    Sep 22, 2009 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #7

    Alright everyone im a new blogger, fair play to fergie for his kind words, even a manager of his calibre was influenced by the great man shows what a great manager he was

  • sahota

    Sep 22, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #8

    Great Man who influenced almost everyone who knows football. He is not here physically but he will always be remembered for centuries to come. As one of us mentioned above I think it was sad to see him leaving when we are relegated.

    we won’t get a man like him again.

  • Jay jay

    Sep 22, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #9

    I love the way sir bobby could get results without playing disrespectful mind games he was always very sporting and used his great tactical knowledge and tripple substitutions to great effect

  • nzedtoonman

    Sep 22, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #10

    My one main memory of SBR was him taking over as manager of the Toon and all the fans went to see him appointed at SJP . Then that Saturday , I was blessed with a home ticket to watch NUFC .v. Sheff Wed , we won 8-0 , and it was mind – blowing .
    When he was on the side -line his manner was so infectious , he did not need to shout , and yet he was given MAXIMUM respect ,by the players, he was a real gentleman !

    He had real , passion , and tactical nuance , but for two minutes of injury time in the 1990 world cup we would have beaten the Germans and probably , Argentina , in the final , he was that close to permanent immortality !


  • bren32

    Sep 22, 2009 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #11

    as a big fan living in ireland I can tell you that Bobby robson is the most respected man in the game all over Ireland. i have never heard a bad word said about him, although i realy wish he had not convinced fergie to stay on i am sick of looking at his smug face every time he wins which is almost every week of the year.

  • punk skunk...

    Sep 22, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #12

    I thought he looked a bit nervous like & therefore it all came across as a bit stilted…Not sayin’ he didn’t mean what he was sayin’ or anythin’…Funny seein’ rudolf bein’ nervous, who woulda thunk?..


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