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70 Years Young 
 Bobby Quotes

1) "She thinks I'm stupid. She thinks I'm just out of my head" - On wife

2) "My father had five sons. I had four brothers"

3) "Denis Law once kicked me at Wembley in front of the Queen in an
international. I mean, no man is entitled to do that, really"

4) "He was handing those cards out like tram tickets" - After an Ipswich
match at Everton back in 1977.

5) "He managed with a velvet glove. But everyone at Old Trafford knew who
was the manager" - On Sir Matt Busby.

6) "With Maradona, Arsenal could have won the World Cup" - Sir Bobby in
1986. Note to younger readers: the Arse were pretty naff in those days.

7) "Hitler didn't tell us when he was going to send over those doodlebugs,
did he?" - On why he was refusing to name his England team before a World
Cup qualifer against Sweden in 1989.

8) "He's learning about management now, isn't he?" - On Trevor Francis,
sacked earlier in the day by QPR in 1990.

9) "We didn't underestimate them. They were a lot better than we thought"
- Sir Bobby after England sneaked through against Cameroon in the 1990
World Cup.

10) "I think I have the best job in the country" - On being national

11) "I will not let these people get to me or rattle me. They have no
qualifications. They have never been anywhere or done anything in
football. Why should I listen to them? - Sir Bobby on being criticised in
the press.

12) "I was just a victim of the tabloid newspaper war. I had watched this
cancer spread over the eight years. It was ugly and damaging" - On
announcing he was stepping down as England manager in 1990.

13) "Look at those olive trees. They're two hundred years old - from
before the time of Christ!" - Sir Bobby illustrates how great life is in

14) "I played cricket for my local village. It was 40 overs per side, and
the team that had the most runs won. It was that sort of football"

15) "We don't train in this country. We train at the beginning of the
season to get fit - once the season starts, we're a nation of match-day

16) "I'm here to say goodbye - maybe not goodbye but farewell" - On
leaving the England job in 1990.

17) "Players never know why they are taken off or substituted - until they
become managers"

18) "They're two points behind us, so we're neck and neck"

19) "I'd say he's the best in Europe, if you put me on the fence"

20) "Tottenham have impressed me: they haven't thrown in the towel even
though they have been under the gun"

21) "Football never surprises you and it never sometimes demoralises you"

22) "If we start counting our chickens before they hatch, they won't lay
any eggs in the basket"

23) "We've got nothing to lose, and there's no point losing this game"

24) "I would have given my right arm to be a pianist"

25) "I do want to play the short ball and I do want to play the long ball.
I think long and short balls is what football is all about"

26) "Their football was exceptionally good - and they played some good

27) "Eighteen months ago they [Sweden] were arguably one of the best three
teams in Europe, and that would include Germany, Holland, Russia and
anybody else if you like"

28) "They tell me even Wimbledon are playing good football" - Sir Bobby,
while PSV coach, in 1992.

29) "We're taking 22 players to Italy, sorry, to Spain... where are we,
Jim?" On whether Paul Gascoigne should have gone to the 1998 World Cup.

30) "He's very fast and if he gets a yard ahead of himself nobody will
catch him"

31) "Sarajevo isn't Hawaii"

32) "The first 90 minutes are the most important"

33) "In a year's time, he's a year older"

34) "Some of the goals were good, some of the goals were sceptical"

35) "Anything from 1-0 to 2-0 would be a nice result"

36) "Home advantage gives you an advantage"

37) "The margin is very marginal"

38) "Well, we got nine and you can't score more than that"

39) "He's got his legs back, of course, or his leg - he's always had one
but now he's got two"

40) "Everyone's got tough games coming up. Manchester United have got
Arsenal, Arsenal have got Manchester United and Leeds have got Leeds"

41) "Manchester United will find it very intimidating with 100 screaming
fans in the Bernabeu"

42) "I thought that individually and as a pair, they'd do better together"

43) "If you're a painter, you don't get rich until you're dead. The same
happens with managers. You're never appreciated until you're gone, and
then people say: 'Oh, he was OK'. Just like Picasso"

44) "What can I say about Peter Shilton? Peter Shilton is Peter Shilton,
and he has been Peter Shilton since the year dot"

45) "Why couldn't John Barnes play for England the way he played for
Liverpool?...If he was a chicken winger I could have understood it, but we
are talking about a brave man, built like a cruiserweight boxer"

46) "I used to see Ruud Gullit play for his first club, Harlem. We at
Ipswich thought he was a promising kid but we felt we had kids like him in

47) "Daft as a brush" - On Paul Gascoigne, part one.

48) "When he was dribbling, he used to go through a minefield with his
arm, a bit like you go through a supermarket" - On Paul Gascoigne, part

49) "The little lad jumped like a salmon and tackled like a ferret" - On
Paul Parker at the at the 1990 World Cup.

50) "Steve Hodge has been unfit for two weeks, well, no, for 14 days"

51) "Ray Wilkins' day will come one night"

52) "Steve Guppy has a dextrous left foot"

53) "He's not the Carl Cort that we know he is"

54) "Carl Cort" - Sir Bobby's name for Shola Ameobi.

55) "Kevin Dyer" - Sir Bobby's name for Kieron Dyer.

56) "All right, Bellamy came on at Liverpool and did well, but everybody
thinks that he's the saviour, he's Jesus Christ. He's not Jesus Christ"

57) "Jermaine Jenas is a fit lad. He gets from box to box in all of 90

58) "If you see him stripped, he's like Mike Tyson. But he doesn't bite
like Tyson - On Titus Bramble.

59) "Nobby Solano discharged himself from hospital after the Tottenham
game and he's driving, living the life and aware of who he is"

60) "We can't replace Gary Speed. Where do you get an experienced player
like him with a left foot and a head?"

61) "They can't be monks - we don't want them to be monks, we want them to
be football players because a monk doesn't play football at this level" -
On Newcastle's disciplinary problems.

62) "If we invite any player up to the Quayside to see the girls and then
up to our magnificent stadium, we will be able to persuade any player to

63) "We mustn't be despondent. We don't have to play them every week -
although we do play them next week as it happens." Following Newcastle's
2-0 league defeat by Arsenal who they then played the following Sunday in
the FA

64) Alan Brazil: "I'm delighted to say we've got Sir Bobby Robson on the
end of the phone, fresh from getting his knighthood at Buckingham Palace.
Bobby, terrific news."

Sir Bobby Robson: "What is?"

Brazil: "You know, getting the old sword on the shoulder from Prince

Sir Bob: Eh? [Long pause] "Oh yeah... well, it was a day I'll never

65) "The crowd were expecting Craig Bellamy to come on and turn it around
in an instant. They think he's a magician. He's not, he will be, but he
hasn't got a magic wand. He hasn't played for seven months. He will be an
October player. He's not a September player"

66) "I'm not going to look beyond the semi-final - but I would love to
lead Newcastle out at the final"

67) "Both teams - and Brazil even - got better on their way to the World
Cup final"

68) "There will be a game where somebody scores more than Brazil and that
might be the game that they lose"

69) "We used to have Shaka Hislop on our books but I've never heard of
Shakira. Is she a singer?" - On learning that the pop diva was staying in
the same Barcelona hotel as his players in November.

70) "I don't think she knows I'm in Germany because we play Bayer
Leverkusen that night. She might have arranged a dinner party. I will have
to tell her. She doesn't know, honestly" - On his wife's arrangements for
his 70th birthday celebrations


Page last updated 24 June, 2009