Wark’s warm words for Sir Bobbby

ON THE first anniversary of Sir Bobby Robson’s death, three of his finest players gathered to raise a glass of champagne to their inspirational former manager.

Speaking after leading an Ipswich Town Legends XI to a 3-1 victory over a Stowmarket Town side, John Wark paid tribute to the man who set him on a path to footballing glory.

Wark explained that on Saturday he, Paul Mariner and Alan Brazil – three stalwarts of the hugely successful Robson era at Portman Road – had met to toast the great man.

Wark, who still lives in the Stowmarket area, said nobody who had ever played for Sir Bobby could ever forget him.

He said: “I went to Newmarket yesterday and met up with Paul Mariner and Alan Brazil, one year on. We had a glass of champagne for the boss.

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“(At the time) we didn’t realise he was a major influence on our careers and he made us the players we were and the people we were. He’s like a father figure.”

Wark, who also played for Liverpool and represented Scotland many times during his glittering career, said all the ex-players in the Town Legends side at Stowmarket had spoken about Sir Bobby in the changing room.

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“Every time I go past Portman Road, and that’s about three times a week, I see his picture on the stand and give him a little wave,” he said. “He’s never far away from our thoughts and the boys have all been saying that.”

Yesterday’s match helped raise funds for Stowmarket Town’s �750,000 drive to pay for a new football and community social club at their Greens Meadow base.

The club’s Mike Hills said the Stowmarket Town Legends XI had enjoyed taking on the former Ipswich stars, including Geraint Williams, Alex Mathie, Simon Milton and Mick Stockwell. It was too early to say how much moneywas raised. “Some very famous people came and played and we were lucky with the weather,” he said. “The new community sports and social club is not just about football, it’s for the community. This is the second event we have held so far and we will do more.”

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