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Bobby Robson

Bobby Robson had a distinguished career as a football before becoming one of the most successful managers of the modern era. The slick passing game that was a feature of his teams won him admirers all over the world.  He had the unique distinction of winning trophies in England, Holland, Portugal and Spain, as well as managing England to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Robson was a wing-half with Fulham in the 1950s before switching to West Bromwich Albion - where he played 257 games and scored 61 goals - and then Fulham once again in 1962. He  also won 20 England caps.

After a brief spell as a player-coach with Vancouver Royals in the North American Soccer League, he took over as boss of Fulham in January 1968 but was sacked by Christmas.

He arrived at unfashionable Ipswich in 1969 and during his 13 years at the helm, he won the FA Cup in 1978, Uefa Cup in 1981, and twice led the Portman Road outfit to the runners-up spot in the old First Division.

Robson also garnered a reputation for building and utilising a youth policy, playing the game in a way that delighted the purists - a slick, passing one on the ground - and for bargain buys, with Dutchmen Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen being but two examples.

Robson became England manager in 1982 and although they missed out on the 1984 European Championship, Robson led them to the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals - where they were beaten by Diego Maradona's infamous 'Hand of God' moment, as well as a wonder goal from the Argentine legend.  Robson's team failed to win any of their group games at the 1988 European Championship but they came good in the 1990 World Cup in Italy. England reached the semi-finals where they suffered an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of West Germany.

Robson left the England job after the 1990 World Cup and took over at PSV Eindhoven. He won two titles in the Netherlands before joining Sporting Lisbon in 1992, where he was axed within 18 months after a Uefa Cup exit, despite being top of the Portuguese table.  Instead he join Sporting's deadly rivals Porto. He earned the nickname Bobby Five O at Porto because his sweeper system ended the club's slump in form and they developed a habit of winning 5-0.  His two title triumphs in 1995 and 1996 sparked the interest of Barcelona.

Robson joined the Spanish giants as boss in July 1996 and led them to glory in the Copa del Rey and European Cup Winners' Cup, while nurturing the talents of Brazilian striker Ronaldo, who he signed for 12m from PSV Eindhoven. His assistant was Jose Mourinho the future Chelsea and Inter Milan manager. He had come to Robson's attention as a translator during his time at Sporting Lisbon. In 1997 Robson moved upstairs to become general manager at Barcelona before returning to PSV for a year from July 1998.

In 1999 he returned to Newcastle to manage the club he had supported as a boy. He led the club from the bottom of the Premier League in that campaign to fourth place in 2001/02 and third the following season, which meant Champions League spots on both occasions. Nevertheless, a poor start to the 2004 season led to his dismissal. A brief spell as Steve Staunton's assistant with the Republic of Ireland squad followed, and this was to be his last job in football.

In 1990 he became a CBE and he was knighted in 2002. At the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2007, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. In May 2008, Robson was given the freedom of Ipswich to mark the 30th anniversary of their 1-0 FA Cup win over Arsenal.

Sir Bobby Robson died in July 2009 after a long battle with cancer. Sir Alex Ferguson paid tribute to one of football's most respected and loved managers: '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.'  Jose Mourinho declared: 'Bobby Robson is one of those people who never die, not so much for what he did in his career, for one victory more or less, but for what he knew to give to those who had, like me, the good fortune to know him and walk by his side'.'