Gallery: Keane joins fans to pay tribute

SCORES of football fans and admirers lined Portman Road today to pay their respects to one of Ipswich's most remarkable personalities.

SCORES of football fans and admirers lined Portman Road today to pay their respects to one of Ipswich's most remarkable personalities.

Roy Keane stood in thoughtful silence alongside former players and club dignitaries in the shadow of the statue made in the image of his distinguished predecessor.

Emotional fans, young and old, laid flowers and hung Town scarves in honour of Sir Bobby Robson as Ipswich mourned the loss of one of the game's true legends.

The massive outpouring of feeling was testament to the heights reached by the former Ipswich manger when he led a modest team to European glory.


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Fans wearing Newcastle shirts stood shoulder to shoulder with Ipswich supporters - a sign of the extent to which Sir Bobby encompassed the spirit of the game.

A wreath was laid at the foot of his statue, already littered with messages of admiration and sympathy, and queues formed outside the ground as people waited to sign a book of condolence.

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James Hehir, chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council, recalled his memories of Sir Bobby. “He was Mr Ipswich and really was the nicest man in football,” he said. “It was never too much trouble for him to come back to Ipswich.

“With the permission of his family we will hold a memorial service in the town.”

Former mayor Inga Lockington gave Sir Bobby the freedom of Ipswich in May 2008 to mark the 30th anniversary of the famous FA Cup victory. After laying posies at his statue she said: “He was such a lovely pleasant gentleman.

“He had a charming smile that I know will stay with me.

“He was absolutely delighted and honoured to receive the freedom of Ipswich, as were we.

“He really put Ipswich on the map and we should all live up to his example.”

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