31 Jul 2009

Sir Bobby Robson: A true friend of Liverpool FC

Kevin Keegan once described Sir Bobby Robson as one of his ‘all time favourite football managers’, and I’m sure that many Liverpool fans also have a soft-spot for Robson, a true legend of the game, who sadly passed away today.

A thoroughly decent man, Sir Bobby shared many of the same personal qualities as Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley and remained unaffected by the shallow excesses of modern football.

Plus, Robson almost always made sense when he spoke about football, especially when it came to Liverpool FC, as the following quotes from the great man attest.

Saluting Rafael Benitez after Liverpool's victory in Istanbul:

"Managers have to be like actors at times and Rafa Benitez deserves an Oscar for his half-time performance in the dressing room during the Champions League Final. His half-time performance when all was lost in Istanbul was the most astonishing of the whole amazing night."

After Liverpool's shock FA Cup Final defeat by Wimbledon in 1988):

“I didn't want Kenny to be criticised, but I'm amazed nobody said a word against him. If England had lost at Wembley as unexpectedly as Liverpool, I would have been slaughtered”.

On Liverpool’s future title prospects (March 2009)

“Liverpool fans can take heart from beating United [4-1 at Old Trafford]. In the short term it will not change the course of the title race. Over the next few years, though, it shows United cannot take the Liverpool challenge lightly.”

On whether Rafa Benitez has what it takes to bring the title to Anfield:

“I hope people do not think that if he [Benitez] falls short this season, he is incapable of winning it. I can see him achieving it at some time at Anfield . “I believe that, if he signs a long-term contract, he has the ability to be a proper rival for Alex...and that can only be good for the game.”

On the power of Anfield:

“At Anfield, Liverpool have just seemed time after time in European matches to have this ability to be able to pull something out of the bag".

Publicly supporting Benitez after he substituted Steven Gerrard in the November 2007 Merseyside derby:

“Rafa was brave in taking off Gerrard at Everton because he would have been severely criticised had Liverpool not won. But they did win, and I am not sure why Gerrard had to go and see his manager to ask why he had been subbed. Would Dirk Kuyt, Javier Mascherano or any other player do that?”.

On Steven Gerrard after the Merseyside derby (November 2007):

“My view is that Gerrard is a great player; one of my favourites, in fact. But no individual is bigger than the club and this is the time for Stevie to ask 'What can I do for Liverpool?', not 'What can they do for me?’

On Gerrard again:

"I think Rafa appreciates what Stevie has done for the club and the talents he brings to the team. But he is not bigger than the club ? and, if they want to emulate Manchester United and Arsenal, and win the Premier League, all Liverpool fans should remember that.

On Gerrard’s impact at Liverpool

“Gerrard is probably regarded with Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool's greatest ever player and while he has earned that respect because of his fabulous displays, it comes with a responsibility.

Surmising about Bill Shankly:

"We were driving back from, I think, Birmingham, when Kieron suddenly shouts out, 'Stop the bus! I've left my diamond earring in the dressing room. Can you believe it! Can you imagine in my day a player shouting to Bill Shankly, 'Bill, stop the bus. I've left me earring in the dressing room!?”"

Sir Bobby Robson - a true friend of Liverpool FC.



  1. I thinkt he fact Sir Bobby was loved by football fans from most teams speaks volumes about him as a man. His humility, integrity, loyalty and most of all personality. In this day and age of football wearing pink boots and earning more money in month than nearly all will earn in a lifetime, he represents what true football are about.


  2. A true ledgend who will be sadly missed.RIP.

  3. Jamie,

    Even in the passing of a legend, and true gent, of the game, you use quotes to advance your views on Gerrard. Can you please explain why the Gerrard quotes are in there? What values do they serve in respect of the title of your article? How do Robson's comments about Gerrard demonstrate he is a 'true friend of Liverpool'? Surely an article on Robson where you dont advance your agenda would have been slightly more respectful. You really are a piece of work you know that?

  4. Anon - I'm a piece of work? You're the one trying to turn a tribute into something negative.

    Perhaps you should stop trying to twist this and consider the following sentence at the beginning of the article:

    He almost always made sense when he spoke about football, especially when it came to Liverpool FC

    The quotes I've posted are obviously examples of Robson talking sense about Liverpool FC.

    At the time Gerrard was subbed, Benitez was getting flak from all sides, especially from the fans. Robson's comments at the time provided some much needed public support and SENSE from a high profile football person.

    In the quotes about Gerrard I've posted, Robson also praises him:

    "My view is that Gerrard is a great player; one of my favourites".

    "Gerrard is probably regarded with Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool's greatest ever player and while he has earned that respect because of his fabulous displays".

    I think it is perfectly clear to any fair minded person why I included those quotes, especially in light of the sentence I've highlighted in bold above.

    This year, I've written a mere two articles criticising Gerrard, and both were warranted.

    Your argument about my alleged Gerrard 'agenda' clearly holds no weight whatsoever. Keep trying though ;-)

  5. Sir Bobby Robson, a great man, a great ambassador for football and england.

    RIP bobby you will be missed


  6. Class recognises class.
    Bobby Robson on Rafa Benitez shows that.
    He saw beyond emotion and into the job at hand. That is priceless.

    Who was to argue with the legend? With so many accomplishments, no self proclaimed journalist could mince words with people of the calibre of Bobby Robson. He could have just turned around and said "so, let's see your cv".

    A loss for the game. Where money and media touch for the 'sky' Bobby Robson reminded others in few words that like everything else, you are always grateful to the ground.

  7. Bobby Robson stood for everything decent about football that appears to be disappearing from the game, he was as humble in victory as defeat and he got the balance of his life right, people will miss him as a human being not a proponent of this or that club.