I’m not usually so moved by the death of someone famous, who I don’t know personally, but Bobby Robson’s death I’ve found really moving. Though we don’t really know the famous people that the media present us with, Bobby Robson seems to be one of the nicest most decent people.
He was the manager of one of the two best teams I’ve ever seen play live (the other was France with Zidane v Australia 8 years ago), at Old Trafford in the early 80s. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team come to play Man United at Old Trafford and outplay them, but Robson’s Ipswich team completely outplayed United for 90mins. I’ve never been able to track down who played for Ipswich that day, but it’s likely to have been Cooper, Burley, Butcher, Osman, Mills, Muhren, Thijssen, Wark, Gates, Mariner, Brazil. Unbelievably good, and goals from anywhere.
The one thing that is most missing in football nowadays is grace. Bobby Robson had grace. A great Ipswich team, good England manager, Gazza and Italia ‘90 and all that, mentor to Jose Mourinho at Sporting Lisbon, Porto, and Barcelona, and then the most incredible thing, managing Newcastle United, and he did better than anyone else, to my surprise, before he was crapped on, and I suspect stabbed in the back by a few players.
Bobby’s been there through all my footballing history, starting with Ipswich onwards in ‘69, and he’s been there for me in every decade since. Farewell Uncle Bobby.