Steve Bruce often called Bobby Robson to seek advice during his management career.
John Carver with Bobby Robson at Newcastle
We all love Bobby Robson, and he is one of favorite football men of all time – in fact the favorite of all time.
And Robson was not just a wonderful manager, but also a great man, and it turns out he was a mentor and friend to Geordie lad Steve Bruce over his management career, and in fact it’s revealed today that Bobby wrote a letter to Sunderland Chairman Niall Quinn to help get Steve the Sunderland manager job.
This is what Steve Bruce told the Journal this morning, in what turned out to be an emotional interview, with Steve choking up while talking to Luke Edwards about Bobby:
“I spoke to Bobby at length about coming to Sunderland,” . “He was ill and there were times during my time in management that I would ring him for advice. The sad thing was that, when I did eventually come up here, he passed away.”
“Lady Elsie still comes, regularly, and is always welcome. I know Sir Bobby wrote a fantastic letter to Niall, which I thank him for.” “It was him that wrote to Niall and said that I am the man for the job.”
“I was not aware of that until Niall revealed it to me – probably because I gave him my house in Portugal every year.” “No, that was just the sort of man he was.” “I miss him, I’m sure everyone else does, and occasions like this it would have been great had he been around. I have not seen that letter, Niall has still got it though.”
It turns out that Steve Bruce was offered the Newcastle job in 2004, when Bobby was still officially manager of the club, and that was the major reason he didn’t want to take it, and has said today it just wasn’t right.
It was all in the papers of course that once Bobby was sacked Steve was always Chairman Shepherd’s number one target, but he still wasn’t comfortable in taking the position, and after agonizing over it for a good few days, he didn’t take the job.
We haven’t heard that reason before, for why Steve turned down the Newcastle United job, but it doesn’t put Freddy Shepherd in good light, that’s for sure, offering Steve the job when Bobby was still our manager.