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Sir Bobby Robson RIP coverage July/August 2009 - Part I
Sir Bobby Robson's passing was announced on the morning of Friday July 31st 2009.

He was 76.

Bobby @ SJP, Sunday July 26th 2009

Statement released on behalf of the Robson family: 

"It is with great sadness that it has been announced today that Sir Bobby Robson has lost his long and courageous battle with cancer.

"He died very peacefully this morning at his home in County Durham with his wife and family beside him.

"Sir Bobby's funeral will be private and for family members only. A thanksgiving service in celebration of Sir Bobby's life will be held at a later date for his many friends and colleagues.

"Lady Robson and the family would very much appreciate it if their privacy could be respected at this difficult time."

Statement released by Newcastle United:

Anyone wishing to lay tributes to Sir Bobby may gain access to St James Park  until 5pm and Saturday/Sunday 9am - 5pm via the Tunnel access at the North West Corner of the Stadium. 

Click here to see images of the SJP tributes

Staff and players at the NUFC training ground observed a minute's silence when news of his passing was confirmed.

Current players, coaches and staff laid a wreath on the SJP centre spot shortly after 3pm on Friday, lining up to conduct a minute's silence in commemoration of the former boss.

They then left the field to applause from supporters who had gathered in the lower sections of the Leazes End stand to lay flowers, flags, scarves and other items.  

Tributes were paid across the footballing world from former managerial rivals such as Sir Alex Ferguson, ex colleagues including Jose Mourinho and other national team bosses, notably Fabio Capello.

Robson's former clubs including Fulham, West Bromwich Albion, Ipswich Town, PSV and Barcelona have all released statements. Porto's website reads "Adeus Mister Robson".

Books of condolence have also been opened for fans to leave individual tributes at St.James' Park (Old Milburn Reception), Craven Cottage and Portman Road.

Out in China, the Asia Trophy game between West Ham and Beijing Guoan was preceded by a minute's silence, while all 22 players wore black armbands. That tribute was an especially poignant for West Ham's Kieron Dyer - who played under SBR @ SJP.

The subsequent game between Spurs and Hull City in the same competition then saw the tributes repeated, with ex-Magpie and Robson signing Jermaine Jenas involved.  

Statement from Professor Ruth Plummer of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation:

"Sir Bobby was an extremely warm, generous and special man. It took great personal effort for him to set up The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and it was typical of the Bobby we came to know that he thought of helping others even when fighting his own battle with cancer.

"He will be greatly missed by all the staff at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre and our thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this very difficult time."

Statement from Alan Shearer: 

"He was a great man, a winner and a battler and he saved my Newcastle career. I was devastated. Just like everyone else will be. It's a sad, sad day for the sporting world and for the football world.

"I was privileged and certainly honoured to play under him. I played in the game on Sunday with the rest of the guys in the England - Germany game. I just think that that summed him up.

"He must have been going through so much and he wanted to get out there, he wanted to get onto the pitch and I just thought he's made that and possibly in his mind he's put up such a fight and I just thought he's got through that and he can't go on any more.

"But what a man he was. He was able to man-manage both experienced players and young players. In particular in today's day and age when players, young players, are paid vast sums of money and it can be difficult at times to manage that.

"But he had such a knack of dealing with that and getting the best out of his players. For me that was one unique talent that he had was the man management and how he got over that and how he got the best out of all his players.

"I was disillusioned, I wasn't enjoying the game. I wasn't scoring goals and wasn't playing as I knew I could. He knew me as a person, I'd spoken to him many times. He knew me as a player. He tried to buy me when he was manager at Barcelona, and he just came in and he got me playing in a different way.

"He got me playing again with a smile on my face and enjoying football. If it wasn't for him then certainly my Newcastle career would have ended early.

"He was just a unique man. He was able to light the dressing room up. Because of his experience and because of the respect that everyone had for him when he spoke people listened.

"And when he spoke and asked you to do well you wanted to do well for him because you liked him and you adored him and you felt for him and you felt the pressures and the pain he was going through. He had that aura about him. He will never, ever be beaten."

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