Toon's Godfather lights up St James's Park and restores some Geordie pride

By Lee Ryder on Jul 27, 09 05:34 PM

For a couple of hours only some distant familiarity returned to St James's Park as Sir Bobby Robson enjoyed the recognition he well and truly deserved from some of the game's biggest names.

Amidst a backdrop of anger, anarchy and downright uncertainty, the roost that Sir Bobby ruled at the start of this decade was reclaimed as the Tyneside public showed their appreciation for the Geordie legend.

The crowd didn't need to be prompted when Sir Bobby was wheeled into St James's as he showed a determination not to miss his big night, the applause for the managerial great went on for long over 10 minutes in an incredible show of emotion.

It was a roost reclaimed in the absence of the AWOL owner of Newcastle in Mike Ashley and the non-appearance of managing director Derek Llambias.

But what unfolded at St James's Park last night was not about Cockneys.

This wasn't about bling, this wasn't about casino owners, this wasn't about message board maniacs - and as the painful lack of interest from buyers dragged on, sadly it was never going to be about the resolution of the sale of the club last night - it was about a real life event made special by real people who turned up and paid their respects - and raised vital funds for charity in the process.

It was a true occasion for every Geordie who witnessed it and it wasn't a time to be airing dirty linen in public.

Instead it was a night that will never be forgotten and for all the right reasons.

It was a celebration of what Sir Bob achieved as boss at Newcastle during the Robson era.

Forget those who claim it wasn't a success.

True it wasn't always rosy in the garden but this is Newcastle!

And finishing fourth, third and fifth in three seasons after saving the club from relegation in 1999 should be applauded and loudly.

As Alan Shearer said: "We'd take that now wouldn't we?"

What did matter were the names that did turn up for England v Germany.

Shearer, Gazza, Beardsley, Platt, Wright, Shilton, Ferdinand, Matthaus and Barnes to name but a few of the international greats on show.

All of them commented afterwards how Newcastle fans deserve so much better than the current shocking state of affairs, to be honest we're sick of hearing it.

The fact that this club has tumbled so far down the ladder in the last two years and now attracts animosity from every corner of England underlines just what a threat this club can be when it has the right person behind the wheel and has willing participants who want to be part of it.

I think one of Alan Shearer's remarks before he was disgracefully shunned by an owner who went running to him for help just a couple of months ago was that it should be filled with "people who love the club".

How true.

What a shame that there aren't more left at the club that are in tune with Sir Bob's football and life philosophy.



Chris said:

Lee have you sen the article on the Newcastle Mad website regarding Ashley running the club into the ground on purpose. Does this story have any credentials to be taken seriously. Have a look.

Wally McFool said:

Plenty of fans including myself have posted the same sort of thing here on this and other message boards and lots of fans disagreed with us.

Its not a news story, its just fans giving an opinion of what they think might happen.

You can definitely understand fans fearing the worst as time goes on though.

BigAl said:

Lee, I am pleased you chose to write about Sir Bobby's match in your blog. It was a memorable night for one of the best manager's we have had. I will never forget the way he changed Alan Shearer's game, from the depths of despair under Gullit, to banging in 5 in the 8-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in Bobby's first home game. Sir Bobby brought in players with real pace to play alongside Shearer and it transformed his game.

A great, great man, with immense integrity, we may not have won anything when he was at the helm but boy we enjoyed the journey. Thanks Sir Bobby you deserve all the plaudits.

damon said:

When I think of my best and happiest footballing memories down the years Sir Bobby Robson is one of the first to spring to mind. I was almost as gutted for him as I was for myself as a young England fan when we missed out in 1990. Talk about integrity. Talk about passion. The man is a rare diamond and a true gent who can look back on a wonderful career with immense pride and satisfaction.
Oh for those days again.

damon said:

When I think of my best and happiest footballing memories down the years Sir Bobby Robson is one of the first to spring to mind. I was almost as gutted for him as I was for myself as a young England fan when we missed out in 1990. Talk about integrity. Talk about passion. The man is a rare diamond and a true gent who can look back on a wonderful career with immense pride and satisfaction.
Oh for those days again.

mallorcamag said:

Seeing Sir Bobby on Sunday brought out great emotion on Tyneside and also sadness at what has become of both him and our great club. It appears as though the bell is tolling for Sir Bobby and I fear that the administrators are circling like vultures to pick the carcass of NUFC clean. A £6million wage bill to pay on Friday and no money from the banks to do it with, will the Fat Man pay out of his own pocket, I think not so -10 points could be a reality by West Brom.

Teddy Kane said:

A serious question. Do we have a board of governors and, if so, what are they doing about all this?

little Davey said:

Teddy Kane get a grip man. Have you nothing positive to say about the Legend that was and still is Sir Bobby Robson.
A football mastermind of his generation. A true Gentleman, with so much passion for the game. Our current mob should all hang their heads in shame.
Keep on fighting Sir Bob, I know you are going through the mill at the moment, but you are an inspiration to us all.

Joseph Wilson said:

the rendition of Nessun Dorma and the pitiful picture of SBR sitting in his wheel chair, against the backdrop of NEWCASTLE UNITED on the east stand cladding could not, but stir great anger in every self respecting Geordie. That this great club, supporters and legends who were present on Sunday evening have to bear the ordeal brought upon them by incompetent and greedy past and present management is a crime.
We desperately need the local media to help lead the fight, that must now be mounted to rescue the club. We require investigative reporters fighting tooth and nail, to find the truth behind the dealings which appear to be going nowhere.
Remember that picture of SBR and then tell me, no!!

WelshGeordie said:

Respect and best wishes to Sir Bobby. He's a true gent, but he's also a battler who's never being renowned for giving up easily. We can all see he's battling now against his health problems and I hope he keeps winning.

It's an attitude the local press boys should take note of. We could do with a much more aggressive attitude in delving into the takeover fiasco. Now that the Profitable Group have pulled out, surely there are copies of correspondence between them and Seymour Price that can be made public now. Either made openly available or "leaked" to the press. The whole situation is starting to smell very fishy - surely it's worth a healthy bonus to the hack who finds out what's going on !

Teddy Kane said:

Respect to Bobby. He's obvioulsy not happy with the situation. If we're not careful, there'll be nothing to get a grip on. Get your head out the sand and let's have some answers.

nell said:

is ashley taking the mick out of this great club because the fans turned against him i fink he just wants to run club into ground out of spite like a big kid

Barry said:

SBR will be always have a place in the hearts of everyone at the club and in the North East and UK as a whole...whoever u support.

Ashley doesn't deserve to be mentioned on the same page...there's an article in Moneyweek about his business antics...paints him as a vindictive man...I think that's what he's doing to NUFC - just hope his cheap and nasty shops are going to do the same!

RAF Mark said:

Its was great to se SBR at the gropund he played his part in building and I was sadened by the thought that could be his last visit. If it is then I am glad he saw HIS players scoring goals and got to see a final win a SJP. Ashley take a good look at SBR, a gent and a man that commands respect and a man who belongs at SJP now and forever. Best wishes to WOR Bobby

Ben said:

I would like to pay tribute to the great man that is Sir Bobby Robson,a true north east hero.

I would also like to post a question to Lee and I hope I get a reply as I think it would help deter some of the flack that he is getting rightly or wrongly on here. We all keep reading that "sources at the club are still hopefull of finding a buyer and somebody who will meet the clubs 100mill valuation" so could you please explain why reports from both the chronicle and the journal havn`t asked the obvious question to these so called sources,What happened to the two or more bids that had been accepted according to our own MD? I really hope u will clarify this because both papers refusing to do so kind of makes me feel you are treating the fans like idiots like our so called board, you are obviously getting snipets from the club and I am sure you would have asked that question so why not put it in print? I hope to recieve a reply Lee, thanks

Relton said:

Lee - I read with interest your comments but, as someone who is no longer living in the NorthEast - what is your own personal gut feel about the sale.
I read all sorts of other rubbish in the national press and would be interested in your own views - will the club be sold in time for the new season ? Will we go in to administration ? whats your "off the record" gut feel - as a fan ??????


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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