Sir Bobby Robson (1933-2009)
Just last Sunday (26/07/09) I was among the 30,000+ crowd who was lucky enough to stand up and recognise the maginificant career of Sir Bobby Robson.
Of course, the match itself was for Bobby's superb charity which achieved all of its financial targets within weeks of its creation in March 2008. Such is the popularity of the man.
One of the finest footballers to emerge from his beloved North East. Robson enjoyed a great playing career with 344 games for Fulham over two spells along with 239 appearances for West Brom. He also scored an impressive 133 goals during his career.
He played for England 20 times over a 5 year period before embarking on a long and successful career in coaching.
From 1968-2004 Robson found much success despite a shaky start as manager of Fulham. He is an Ipswich Town legend guiding them to FA Cup and UEFA Cup glory.
Probably most importantly for the rest of England he helped the public fall in love with international football once again with the World Cups of 1986 and 1990.
After England - PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona and his beloved Newcastle United were lucky enough to have him as their coach/manager.
In a sport where the term 'legend' is used so loosely, there can be no doubt that Sir Bobby Robson deserves that sporting title more than any.
Rest in Peace.