Newcastle unveil Robson statue

Sun, 06 May 12:19:19 2012

Sir Bobby Robson has been immortalised by Newcastle as the club unveiled a statue to honour his memory.

Former players and staff members joined manager Alan Pardew, Sir Bobby's window Lady Elsie and sons Andrew Paul and Mark for the ceremony on Sunday morning.

The former England manager, who took the Magpies into the Champions League during his five-year spell at St James' Park, died in July 2009 at the age of 76 after a fifth battle with cancer.

Speaking at the unveiling, Lady Elsie, who was later presented with a bouquet by Pardew, told a crowd of several thousands Newcastle fans: "My husband often spoke of living a black-and-white life.

"It took him from the darkness of Langley Park Colliery to the bright glare of the floodlights. Black and white were the shades that always clung to him...

"He would be thrilled with the way Newcastle have performed this season, which is testament to the hard work and dedication of Alan Pardew, his staff and players.

"It was also Newcastle where Bobby built his final team, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the charity he established to help people fighting with cancer, and that has now raised more than £4million. Even from the depths of darkness, brightness can emerge. I would like to thank Newcastle United for this magnificent tribute to my husband and for their ongoing support for his charity."

The club's managing director Derek Llambias paid tribute to Sir Bobby and the part he played in bringing Newcastle back to prominence between 1999 and 2004.

He said: "There are only a handful of names in the history of Newcastle United that command the respect and recognition that Sir Bobby did. Throughout the world of football, he was respected for his achievements as a player and as a manager and is held in the highest regard by everybody associated with the game.

"But here in the north-east, he was a Geordie icon who helped change the history of this club. We are delighted to honour Sir Bobby Robson today. I'm sure you agree that this statue is a fitting tribute to a truly great man."


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