A new study of the 20+ years of the Premier League, sees Sir Bobby Robson included on a list of the most influential people in its history.

The summer break sees the media coming up with all kinds of lists to fill the void: best, most useless, most expensive…and so on, but this has a bit more substance.

Journalist Nick Harris of the excellent Sporting Intelligence website has put together this list for The Mail.

Nick has compiled a top 50 and today numbers 30-21 have been made public (Kevin Keegan was included at Number 41 – see HERE why Nick included him).

Great detail and thought has been gone into and it isn’t just a case of listing who has won most trophies or spent the most money.

Nick Harris explains his rationale for the (his) choices:

‘Because they directly influenced the formation, development and blossoming of the Premier League into the world’s richest and most-watched club competition and/or they played a fundamental role in shaping the destiny of the league’s major clubs, who in turn helped the league’s growth, and/or they were central to a hugely significant rule change or other development.’

Numbers 50-21 in Nick Harris’ list are listed below but let’s go straight to his appreciation of Newcastle United’s knight of the realm…’

24 Bobby Robson

If money has become important to football – and it has, evidenced by every fan who ever moans at a lack of jaw-dropping outlay – then the counterpoint remains the game’s simplicity, and its fundamental role at the heart of communities.

Sir Bobby is on this list not just because he was a towering figure in the global game, though you cannot buy PR like that.

Nor is he here just for his major contribution to England’s most successful one-club city, Newcastle, where he guided the Toon from from mid-table to successive PL finishes of fourth, third and fifth.

Sir Bobby is included because he understood the real power of football, and communicated it always.

‘What is a club in any case?’ he wrote.

‘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

The list so far:

50 Steven Gerrard, 49 Peter Ridsdale, 48 Didier Drogba, 47 Karren Brady, 46 Philip Don, 45 Sol Campbell, 44 Gary Lineker, 43 Carlos Tevez, 42 Rune Hauge, 41 Kevin Keegan.

40= Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, 38 Paul Hawkins, 37 Cristiano Ronaldo, 36 Frank Lampard, 35 George Graham, 34 The Glazer family, 33 Gary Neville, 32 Dennis Bergkamp, 31 Andy Melvin.

30 Jorge Mendes, 29 Gianfranco Zola, 28 Gordon Taylor, 27 Peter Schmeichel, 26 Juninho, 25 Peter Kenyon, 24 Bobby Robson, 23 Wayne Rooney, 22 Ken Bates, 21 Ryan Giggs.

  • Debbie Nicholson


  • 1957

    Even more so than Keegan, Sir Bobby understood what the club and supporters were about.
    It is sad that he didn’t arrive after Keegan left, although his decision not to break his contract at Barcalona, spoke volumes for him as a person, and that he was treated so badly by Shepherd being sacked after finishing 5th the season before.
    A true giant of English football

  • DavidDrape

    everyone at PSV (older coaches at club) loved Bobby they told me about his enthusiasm and knowledge

  • Paul Patterson

    Do me a favour.
    Peter Ridsdale- Knacked Leeds United to over £100m worth of debt, something which they are unlikely to recover from for decades.
    Gary Lineker- Never played in the Premier League and has probably done as much for crisps as the league itself.
    Rune Hauge- Paid George Graham to sign two players and was then banned.
    George Graham- Accepted payments from Rune Hauge in exchange for two players, then banned.
    Andy Melvin- Who??
    Juninho- 2-3 Years in the Premier league.
    Who decided this b******s???

  • mirandinha9

    Keegan at 41. Goodness, he should have been in the top 10. This was the man who created the Entertainers who set the credentials for any future team to aspire to. A man who brought in Shearer, Beardsley, Ferdinand and Ginola and in 93/94 took a newly promoted team to 3rd in the Premiership. I predict this will never happen again. Do I need to go on? Robson, seems to get many plaudits, but, Keegan, galvanised the Toon 3 teams and is our greatest ever signing. It is he who a statue should be made for.