Taylor recalls memories as Ipswich Town and Newcastle United meet on ‘Sir Bobby Robson Day’

Sir Bobby Robson takes a look at his statue outside Portman Road. The popular manager's career and l

Sir Bobby Robson takes a look at his statue outside Portman Road. The popular manager's career and life will be celebrated on 'Sir Bobby Robson Day' as Ipswich Town host Newcastle United. - Credit: Archant

Steven Taylor will never forget the effect Sir Bobby Robson had on his footballing career.

This afternoon’s encounter between Ipswich Town and Newcastle United - Sir Bobby’s two main footballing loves - will celebrate the adored manager’s career.

Fond memories will no doubt be flowing all around Portman Road on ‘Sir Bobby Robson Day’, with players, fans and associates from both sides remembering the life and career of a football legend.

Current Ipswich Town defender Taylor, who was born and raised a Newcastle lad, joining the club when he was just nine years old before spending 13 seasons as a professional there, has the utmost respect for Sir Bobby.

“I was 16 and had just left school when Sir Bobby brought me through into the reserve team,” recalled Taylor.

“I skipped the academy and he had me training against the likes of Alan Shearer! I was getting battered by him day-in, day-out, but I enjoyed that as a young kid.

“Putting me among the older heads toughened me up, and he always had a core of experienced players throughout his side.”

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Taylor continued: “His aura was great. I remember there were a few times when I’d gone into his office fuming, but I’d come out and he’d had his arm round me. I didn’t know how he did it!

“He always knew how you were feeling and how to handle things.

“His man-management with every player was the unique tool that he had, everyone had respect for him and he was the father-figure for every player.

“There was total respect from everyone and I haven’t seen that since to be fair.

“He is a legend, and Sir Bobby Robson is everywhere up and down Ipswich Town and Newcastle United corridors, he’ll never be forgotten.”

During his time at Ipswich, Sir Bobby famously led the club to winning the Texaco Cup in 1973, the FA Cup in 1978, and the UEFA Cup in 1981.

At Newcastle, he transformed the Magpies from a team fighting Premier League relegation to one playing Champions League football.

As well as success at PSV Eindhoven, Porto and Barcelona, Sir Bobby also managed England, leading them to a World Cup semi-final. He died from lung cancer at his home in County Durham, on July 31 2009, aged 76.