Newcastle United have announced plans to unveil a statue of the late great Sir Bobby Robson outside of St James’ Park ahead of the final home league game of the season against Manchester City.
The nine-and-a-half foot bronze statue will be situated at the Sout-West corner of the ground and will be unveiled officially by Alan Pardew and some of Sir Bobby’s former players.
Of course Sir Bobby already has a statue at Portman Road where he led Ipswich Town to success in the FA Cup and UEFA Cup during his 13 year spell in charge of them, which is a grand gesture by them, but it’s nice to have such a memorial outside of the ground which started off Robson’s love affair with football and Newcastle United.
Derek Llambias approves of the move, and I dare say that this is one thing that he will get widespread backing on!
“We’re delighted to be able to honour Sir Bobby Robson with this lasting tribute,” he told the official club website.
“He was a great man and ambassador for this football club and for the city. He achieved great success during his time as manager of Newcastle United and this statue is a fitting way for the club to remember him,” he added.
Sir Bobby’s widow, Lady Elsie, also gave her backing to the decision to honour her husband. She said: “It’s very fitting that there will be a tribute to Bob outside Newcastle United’s ground. This is where his love of football began.”
“As a boy he’d come here with his dad and he likely queued to get into the ground where the statue will be sited. My husband’s career took him all over the world but he was always a Newcastle fan at heart. He loved this club and was very proud to be its manager.”
“I think the statue design is wonderful and I’m very grateful to Newcastle United for funding it,” she concluded.
For me what Lady Elsie says is the most important thing in all of this. As long as she is happy with everything then it’s all fine by me. At the end of the day we are just fans whereas they are family so their feelings and considerations should, rightly, be placed above ours.
On a personal level though it’s a great gesture which will give people like me and you somewhere to go and pay lasting and continued respect to a man who gave us some of our best times of the modern era. I doff my cap to the club for coming up with an idea that considers the fans, so credit to Mike Ashley, Derek Llambias and whoever else is responsible for organising it all, sanctioning it and paying for it.
I struggled for a way to end this article in truth. All I can say really is that it’s a great move for everyone concerned. However perhaps the best way to finish this article is by leaving you with this from the great man himself.
Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it.
It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.
It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city.
It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love
– Sir Bobby Robson
Yeah, I think that does the trick!