Newcastle United – News Roundup – 01 August 2009.

Posted on August 1st, 2009 | 5 Comments |

Rest In Peace
Rest In Peace
The news has of course been dominated by the sad death of Sir Bobby Robson, a man who managed to command universal respect and affection throughout the game and beyond. I will dedicate today’s news roundup to some of the tributes to Sir Bobby.

There’s a nice obituary in The Chronicle. I like Sir Bobby’s quote about Maradona’s goal from the 1986 World Cup: “It wasn’t the hand of God, it was the hand of a rascal.”

The BBC has tributes from many football personalities (and the Prime Minister) but I think Sir Alex Ferguson’s is particularly good:

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.

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.”

Alan Shearer paid his own tribute:

It’s a very sad day for everyone, especially his family, his close friends and anyone who’s ever worked with him.

Bobby was a people’s man. He could get on with anybody no matter what age they were and that says a lot about the kind of man he was and why he was so highly thought of.

He was held in high regard across the world not only for what he did in football but for what he did in life.

He was a winner, a battler and a fighter and he fought until the very last.

I’ve got a lot to thank him for. He saved my Newcastle career – there’s no doubt about that – and I’m just pleased I had the chance to tell him and thank him for it.’

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.

It’s a very sad day for everyone, especially his family, his close friends and anyone who’s ever worked with him.”

As did Peter Beardsley:

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.”

It’s a very sad day for everyone, especially his family, his close friends and anyone who’s ever worked with him.

Every football person in the world will be sad today.

It was nice for me to have been part of Sunday’s charity game and I think it was fitting that his last public appearance should be at St.James’ Park.

I won 59 England caps and 49 of them were with Sir Bobby, he did many, many good things for me with England and I will miss him dearly.”

On the Sky Sports site, Martin Tyler pays tribute, describing Sir Bobby as a ‘complete one off’, and George Caulkin writes a nice article in The Times.

The Journal describes how fans have been paying tribute at St James’s Park.

There are of course dozens more tributes, obituaries and articles dedicated to the man, but for my own part I’ll try to explain why the death of Sir Bobby has such an effect on me.

Celebrities die from time to time and, although it’s sad, it doesn’t usually touch me in any special way, but Sir Bobby’s death has. Yes, he was from the North East, an ex-Newcastle manager and a terrifically nice guy but I think it’s more than that.

I can think of two other ‘celebrity’ deaths that genuinely touched me: Douglas Adams and John Peel. Adams wrote one of my favourite books but, although I’d exchanged a few letters with him, I’d never met the man; Peel shaped my music tastes and his show was religious listening for me from about 1976 until about 1986 but, again, I’d never met him.

So why is it that the deaths of those two people and now also Sir Bobby hit so hard? I think it’s because of something ‘genuine’ about them that many of the plastic ‘celebrities’ of today just don’t seem to have. There’s no aloofness or arrogance or exagerrated sense of importance – instead there’s a kind of down-to-earthness. There’s something that actually makes you feel you really know them despite never having met them.  In effect they feel like friends.

I still probably haven’t worded that well enough to get it across but the death of Sir Bobby Robson feels to me like the death of a friend. And it hurts.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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5 Responses

  1. Well put there was indeed no arrogance or sense of importance just a genuine nice guy

  2. it shows what a fighter he realy is when he even said himself that he wouldnt make it through last season and he actually made it through to pre season of the season after what a man

  3. Actually Hugh, I think you’ve eloquently and effectively described why it’s affected so many of us so much.

  4. I agree, very well put. I can see your parallel with Peel, although definitely not on the same scale for me. The level of genuineness and class that Bobby exuded is unsurpassed.
    It’s taken me a while for the news to sink in, and I’m still not sure it has, but it seems to get worse the longer you think and contemplate about what we’ve actually lost. I think everybody would be far better off and do well to take a few leaves from Bobby’s book. The loss of the man affects me far more than the loss of a ‘Sporting Great’. What he achieved in life, both on and off the field, was immense. I’m not sure we’ll see his like again, but I hope so.
    I’m going to miss seeing and listening to the great man.
    God bless you Bobby; I hope your in a better place. Respect to all your family. x

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