Football greats pay tribute to legend Sir Bobby

SIR Alex Ferguson and Fabio Capello have led the tributes to former Englandmanager Sir Bobby Robson.

SIR Alex Ferguson and Fabio Capello have led the tributes to former England

manager Sir Bobby Robson.

Manchester United manager Ferguson said in a statement released by the League

Managers' Association: “I was never too big or proud to ask him for advice

which he gave freely and unconditionally. And I'm sure I am speaking for a lot

of people when I say that.

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“In my 23 years working in England there is not a person I would put an inch

above Bobby Robson. I mourn the passing of a great friend; a wonderful

individual; a tremendous football man and somebody with passion and knowledge of

the game that was unsurpassed.

“His character was hewn out of the coal face; developed by the Durham County

mining background that he came from.

“His parents instilled in him the discipline and standards which forged the

character of a genuinely colossal human being. He added his own qualities to

that which then he passed on to his sons.

“The strength and courage he showed over the past couple of years when

battling against his fifth bout of cancer was indescribable. Always a smile;

always a friendly word with never a mention of his own problems.

“The world, not just the football world, will miss him. Let's hope it won't be

long before another like him turns up because we could never get enough of

them.”

England head coach Capello, now president of the LMA, said: “Sir Bobby was a

wonderful man, a real gentleman.

“It's extremely sad that Sir Bobby has lost his final fight against cancer,

but he will never be forgotten. He really was a great man.

“To manage the national team for so long was a remarkable achievement, and we

all remember how close he came to leading England to the World Cup final in

Italy.”

Former England and Newcastle captain Alan Shearer paid tribute to a “great

Man”.

“He will be sadly missed by everyone, not just by people in the football world

but from all walks of life,” Shearer said.

“It's a very sad day for everyone, especially his family, his close friends

and anyone who's ever worked with him.”

Glenn Hoddle, who played under Robson for England, told Sky Sports News: “He's

the closest we've come to winning the World Cup (since 1966) - that's how good

Bobby was.”

Former England striker Gary Lineker, who played under Robson at the 1986 and

1990 World Cups, said: “He had a tremendous enthusiasm and passion for football

and life and continued to retain this right to the last days of his life.”

Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd said: “I worked every day with him

for five years and that's when you see the character of a man. He was certainly

the best manager I worked with.”

Former England and Newcastle United skipper Alan Shearer paid tribute to a

“great man”.

“Sunday was a fitting tribute to him and he will be sadly missed by everyone,

not just by people in the football world but from all walks of life,” Shearer

said.

“It's a very sad day for everyone, especially his family, his close friends

and anyone who's ever worked with him.”

Former England midfielder Ray Wilkins said Sir Bobby was a “smashing guy” who

“lived his life with humility”.

“Everyone had the utmost respect for him,” he told Sky News, adding that

players were willing to “run through a brick wall” for him.

“He handled people in the right fashion and I think that was his major

strength.

“He was a joy to be around.”

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