Alan Pardew – ‘Sir Bobby Wasn’t Just A Special Manager, He Was A Special Person’
Newcastle United kick-off at 6pm today in our final pre-season friendly but before that there is an action packed day.
For today is ‘Sir Bobby Day’, a celebration of 150 years of the FA – with Newcastle United getting behind the occasion, releasing the following statement;
Newcastle United is supporting Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day – with the country coming together in celebration of the nation’s favourite game and one of English football’s most iconic figures.
In all, 150 community-focused events are taking place across the country with Sir Bobby Robson Day a central part of The FA’s 150th anniversary being held this year – providing a showcase of The FA’s work at grassroots level and giving the nation the opportunity to get involved.
Across the country, the day will focus on every aspect of the game including women’s football, disability football, refereeing and coaching with flagship events in London, Manchester and at St. George’s Park in Burton.
Chief among the day’s events is a football festival at The Sir Bobby Robson Centre in Ushaw Moor, Durham, with Lady Elsie Robson, The FA’s Club England Managing Director Adrian Bevington and elite referee Howard Webb among the gathered guests.
The club will be heavily involved, with assistant manager John Carver, who was also Sir Bobby’s No2, and first team coach Steve Stone also attending ahead of Newcastle’s pre-season friendly with SC Braga (kick-off 6pm).
John Carver said: “Working with Sir Bobby at Newcastle for all those years was an absolute pleasure and I’ll always have special memories of that time. I’ll always remember how people wanted to hear what he had to say about football – he would talk so passionately about the game, from a grassroots level right up to the Newcastle first team.
“He would have been delighted with today and seeing all the kids running around enjoying the game. It’s a great tribute from The FA to name National Football Day in Sir Bobby’s honour and the day is a great showcase of the work the organisation does to allow people to play football.”
Sir Bobby was manager at St. James’ Park between 1999 and 2004 and had a lifetime association with the club. He sadly passed away on 31 July 2009 after battling cancer for the fifth time.
Current Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew, said: “Sir Bobby wasn’t just a special manager; he was a special person. His warmth and enthusiasm inspired anyone who had the fortune to meet him or work for him and his presence continues to be felt in what we do at Newcastle United today.
“It’s fitting that the Football Association has named its National Football Day after someone who did so much to champion all that is good about our national game. It’s a day we’re very proud to support.”
Lady Elsie Robson, Sir Bobby’s widow, said: “I’m sure Bob would have been thrilled having a National Football Day named in his honour.
“He was always so incredibly passionate about football. He just loved it, whatever level it was being played at. He was lucky enough to play and manage at the top of the game but he was just as enthusiastic talking to youngsters about their junior club matches.”
Sir Trevor Brooking, The FA’s Director Of Football Development, said: “The Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day has been created as part of our 150th anniversary celebrations to showcase the nation’s love for the game and the huge number of people who get involved in football every week, whether that’s playing, coaching, volunteering or refereeing.
“This day will highlight the sheer breadth of the nation’s favourite game and we hope it will encourage more people to get involved. Whether you visit one of the planned 150 events or simply head to your garden or local park with family and friends, there’s no better day to get into football.”
As part of Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day, Newcastle United will be raising funds for two special causes at this evening’s pre-season friendly with SC Braga. The Newcastle United Foundation and Sacriston Community Football Club, based close to where Sir Bobby was born, are set to benefit from fundraising within the ground, while Newcastle United players will be donating their kit to an exclusive auction.
The captains of both clubs will also lay a wreath at the Sir Bobby Robson statue at St. James’ Park before the game, celebrating his immense contribution to football in both countries.
The following cash turnstiles will be in operation for those who wish to pay on the gate for Newcastle United v SC Braga and will be open from 4.30pm.
• 17,18 – Leazes Stand Middle Tier
• 31,32 – Leazes Stand Middle Tier
• 54,55 – Gallowgate Stand Middle Tier
• 64,65 – Gallowgate Stand Middle Tier
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