Bobby's vow if England reach 2010 finals

SIR Bobby Robson has vowed to watch Fabio Capello's England compete in the finals of the 2010 World Cup.

Elvin King

SIR Bobby Robson has vowed to watch Fabio Capello's England compete in the finals of the 2010 World Cup.

And if the Italian goes one better than Robson in Italy in 1990 and leads England to the final Robson says he will ignore medical advice and fly to South Africa.

“When you have fought cancer five times you need targets to keep you motivated through the various problems you have,” said the former Ipswich Town boss.

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“Being a great football-lover and a proud Englishman as well, what better motivation than looking forward to the next World Cup, knowing we could do something special.

“I fully intend to carry on and see no reason why I should not be able to enjoy the 2010 finals, and if Fabio Capello's can get his team to the final I will be tempted to ignore my doctors' advice and fly to South Africa to see it.“

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Robson was talking at the opening of the cancer research centre named in his honour at Newcastle. The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has raised over �1.2million within the last year.

Capello was at the launch last Friday before watching Town's 3-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers the following day.

And Robson, who took Ipswich to success in the UEFA and FA Cups and led them to nine top-flight top-six finishes in 10 years from 1972/73, sees his latest triumph as an equal to anything he achieved in football.

Robson, who celebrated his 76th birthday last week, went on to manage England and then PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona and Newcastle United. “When I started my foundation I never dreamt it would come to this,” he said. “This is up there with anything I have achieved in the game.

“Football is about beating your opponent. This is about beating death.

“It has been an amazing year - one of the most rewarding of my life - and I've enjoyed every moment of it. Cancer is an horrific disease, but at the same time cancer has shown me the best in people.

“I've had operations that mean I am partially paralysed, but I have always tried to make sure it doesn't affect me.

“I don't want people to think of me as poorly. I want people to think of me as the same Bobby as I always have been.”

Fundraising activities have taken place in Ipswich and surrounding areas to raise money for the Robson Foundation, and Robson was honoured along with the rest of his team with a special round-the-town open top bus ride and ceremony on the Town Hall balcony at the Cornhill last May.

He was presented with the freedom of the town, and is also president of Ipswich Town.

He has been fighting his latest bout of cancer for over a year now and was taken ill at Portman Road in August 2006 after being introduced to the crowd before the 2-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace.

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