Birthday: February 18, 1933
Died At Age: 76
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Also Known As: Sir Robert William Robson
Born Country: England
Born in: Sacriston, County Durham, England
Famous as: Footballer
Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Elsie Robson (m. 1955–2009)
father: Philip Robson
mother: Lilian Robson
children: Andrew Robson, Mark Robson, Paul Robson
Died on: July 31, 2009
place of death: County Durham, England
Cause of Death: Lung Cancer
Founder/Co-Founder: Sir Bobby Robson Foundation
awards: Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Sir Robert William Robson, popularly known as Bobby Robson, was an English footballer and football manager. He was one of England’s most well-known and respected players and managers. Throughout his professional career, he played 20 matches with the national football team, including matches in 1958 and 1962 World Cup. He was also the manager of the national team between 1982 and 1990, and helped them reach quarter-final in 1986 and semi-final 1990. For the majority of his career, he played with Fulham, and scored 77 goals in 344 games. He also played for West Bromwich Albion in 239 games, and scored 56 goals in total. In 1992, he was diagnosed with cancer, with which he had to struggle for the next 17 years. He founded the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation for cancer research during this time. In 2008, his cancer was found to be terminal. He. He eventually passed away a year later. Throughout his life, he had also written several books such as ‘Time on the Grass’, ‘My Autobiography: An Englishman Abroad’, and ‘Farewell but Not Goodbye’. Bobby Robson was also knighted in 2002. The next year, he was also inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.
Childhood & Early Life
Bobby Robson was born on 18 February 1933, in Sacriston, County Durham, to Philip and Lilian Robson. He was the fourth of five sons. His father worked as a coal miner.
Robson studied at Langley Park primary school, and later at Waterhouses secondary modern school. At the age of 11, he began playing football for Langley Park Juniors on Saturday mornings. By the time, he was 15, he was representing the club at the under-18 level. He also began working as an electrician.
After some time, the manager of the English club, Fulham, visited him and offered him a contract. He soon signed up and moved to London, and began playing as a wing half and inside forward.
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Even though Bobby Robson signed professionally, his father wanted him to continue working as an electrician. Therefore, he spent the day working at the Festival of Britain site, and also trained three nights a week at Fulham. This eventually took a toll on him and he had to give up his trade to pursue football full-time. He made his first-team debut for the team in 1950.
After sometime, he was also promoted to the First Division. Although he regarded the club as nice and social, he never found it to be serious or challenging.
He later started playing for Vic Buckingham’s West Bromwich Albion in March 1956. In 1957 and 1958, he was also the club’s top league goal scorer.
In 1962, he returned to Fulham and left West Bromwich after a disagreement with Jim Gaunt, the vice chairman, over his salary. After his return, he felt that he wouldn’t be able to secure any significance in the team, and therefore, in 1967, he left Fulham, and signed a three-year deal with Canada’s Vancouver Royals. He continued playing for the team till Fulham offered him a contract as their manager.
During his time with Fulham, Bobby Robson took part in two ambassadorial Football Association tours in the West Indies in 1955, and South Africa in 1956. While he was playing for West Bromwich, he began playing for the full England squad. He made his international debut in a 4-0 victory against France, where he scored twice. He appeared in a total of 20 matches for the English national team.
Bobby Robson began his managerial career in 1968 for Fulham. He took charge of Ipswich Town the next season. He was able to lead them to the FA cup in 1978, and the UEFA Cup in 1981. Because of his achievements, he was made manager of the England national team.
In 1986, he led England to the World Cup held at Mexico. The team lost to Argentina 2-1 at the quarterfinals. In 1990, he again led his team to the World Cup where they lost to Germany in the semi-finals at the penalty shootout. They lost to Italy 2-1 for the third position. He left the England team after the World Cup, and managed PSV Eindhoven in 1990, 1991 and 1992. He was able to lead the club to the Dutch league championship twice.
He next went to Portugal and managed the club Sporting Lisbon and then FC Porto. In 1996, he began managing the team Barcelona. Under his stint Barcelona went on to win Spanish Cup and the UEFA Winners’ Cup. For some time, he again worked with PSV Eindhoven after which he returned to England and became a manager for Newcastle United. He eventually retired in 2004.
Family & Personal Life
Bobby Robson married Elsie Gray on 25 June 1955. She was a student nurse when she met Robson, and later became a teacher.
Other than football, Robson had also appeared in commercials for a few companies such as the Carlsberg Group.
He was diagnosed with cancer in 1992. He struggled with cancer for the next seventeen years of his life. He also founded the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, a cancer research charity.
He received a number of honors throughout his life. He was appointed a Commander of the British Empire in 1991, and was knighted in 2002. Other honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year show in 2007.
After a long battle with illnesses, Bobby Robson passed away on 31st July 2009, due to lung cancer at his home in County Durham.