It is five years today that the former Ipswich Town, Newcastle United and England manager Sir Bobby Robson sadly passed away, after losing his long fight with cancer.
John Carver and Bobby Robson while at Newcastle
Lady Elsie Robson has given a (very) long interview on the FA site today, and has talked about her husband.
Here’s some of what Lady Elsie has said:
“It was difficult, very difficult for us all, for the family especially, and I suppose you just get through it.” “You don’t sort of understand until much, much later what it all meant.”
“The public responded in such a compassionate way and I think it was something they needed as well at that time. It was wonderful to go and see the spread of flowers and tributes and memorabilia left at St James’ Park.”
“And, I think I’ve said this before, for eleven days at that time it didn’t rain, which is unusual in Newcastle, even in August.” “We didn’t have a spot of rain so after that time, someone asked me what we should do with it all, that we really needed to make some decisions.”
“So we decided to clear it all and the shirts were laundered, boxed up and stored until they were transported to various parts of Africa. “
“It was remarkable the outpouring of grief. It was something I think the football public needed at the time, as well as us. We needed it.” “We learned a long time ago to share him in life and we sort of shared him in death as well. That was something which was part of it all and you deal with it.”
“That was a great thing for Bob, that he had the charity,” “It gave him a function and a goal to lead his life in that way.” “He was very, very committed to the charity.”
“In fact, I think he was more committed to it than he had ever been, or he felt he was achieving more in a helpful way than he had been as a famous person in his own profession.”
“He was always a fighter, right throughout his life. He always wanted to achieve. That never left him and with the charity that was very much the case. He wanted to fight on. He had an aim in life and that carried him through really.”
“I suppose it gave him less time to focus on his own illness. We would drive out daily, or certainly two or three times a week, to various happenings in the area and that gave him a kind of a lifeline.”
“He met with a great team at the hospitals in Newcastle. That inspired him. He had the time. Although he was ill, he still had those last few months, the time, that maybe other people who would still be busy with their working life wouldn’t’ have.”
“As a football manager you’re probably faced with dealing with problems for your whole working life. You solve one little problem and then another one crops up, and then another one and then another one.”
“And I think he missed all of that in retirement. Well, he never did retire basically. But it kept him going. That’s what he enjoyed.” “He was a very unselfish person.”
“He really left an amazing legacy.” “I’m extremely proud of it. I never thought we’d achieve what we’ve achieved, but it just keeps going on and on.”
“We all admire him so much and miss him, of course, because he was such a larger than life man. In the best way possible, he had to be obeyed! Five years. A long time.”
Sir Bobby took over Newcastle in late August of 1999, and saved us that first season from relegation, after we were second bottom of the league after seven games when he took over from Dutchman Ruud Gullit.
Sheffield Wednesday were bottom at the time, and in his first game as Newcastle manager at St. James Park, Bobby talked about how important the game was and that it was a 6 pointer.
Newcastle were 5-0 up at half time and won the game 8-0, with a certain Alan Shearer scoring five goals – and it showed how Bobby could always inspire his players into playing at the very top of their game.
And in the last three seasons of his five year reign at his home town club, we finished in 4th, 3rd and 5th place in the Premier League.
Bobby was a tremendous manager – and maybe the best manager England has ever produced, but more than that – he was a man who was loved throughout the football world – and still is.
And Bobby Robson continues to be an inspiration to this Newcastle United web site.
If you would like to make a donation to Bobby’s foundation you can do so here.
You can also send a check to:
Sir Bobby Robson Foundation,
Charitable Funds Office,
Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Newcastle upon Tyne