Stars of football, music and comedy join to celebrate the life of Sir Bobby Robson
has revealed that Sir Bobby Robson
was an ‘inspiration’ to him, as stars of football, music and comedy prepare to join together to celebrate the life of the former England Manager.
On Monday night at The Sage in Gateshead, on what would have been his 80th birthday, ‘Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration’ will bring together a star-studded line-up to perform in memory of Sir Bobby, who died of cancer nearly four years ago.
Among those headlining on stage, comedians Paul Whitehouse and Simon Day will appear alongside Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and opera singer Russell Watson to help raise funds for The Alan Shearer Foundation
and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation
Hodgson says he's humbled to follow in the footsteps of Sir Bobby, who managed England from 1982 to 1990, and has recalled his own memories of the former Ipswich Town, Newcastle United, Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven coach.
And he also hailed the work of Sir Bobby's widow, Lady Elsie, and his family in raising money in the battle against the disease that took him in 2009.
“I’m sure I have said many times before, but it is important to keep saying it and always to remember, that Bob was an inspiration to me as a football coach," said Hodgson.
"And more than that, when I became fortunate enough to know him, he was an inspiration as a man.
“His career in football, as his life in the outside world, was filled with dignity and humility, which he showed to everyone he encountered and he was truly someone about whom a bad word could never be said.
"Despite his grace and sound qualities he did not lack for passion or drive in his pursuits, and football lost a legend when he passed away."
Hodgson continued: “I am entirely humbled to be able to walk the same footsteps he trod over two decades ago as England Manager. I remember those times, particularly Italia '90 which was as close as our country has come to repeating the triumph of 1966.
"I also remember his work in other countries, he was successful in Portugal, Spain and Holland and that is something that stuck with me. I spent a lot of my career in football abroad and he was someone I could relate to in that sense.
“His battles with cancer summoned all the dignity and courage he showed within football, and only further emphasised the great person he was, and we won’t forget him," he added.
"The work that has continued with his foundation is a lasting tribute to him, and a power of good for the world. Lady Elsie, his sons who I saw recently at The FA 150 launch, and everyone associated with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation are doing tremendous work.”
England Under-21s Coach Stuart Pearce
, who was part of Sir Bobby’s England team that reached the World Cup semi-final in 1990, is one of the big names from the world of football at the event. He will recall that memorable and emotional night in Turin when the Three Lions went out on penalties to West Germany.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas will also be sharing his special memories of Sir Bobby from his time at Porto while Newcastle United players Steve Harper, Shola Ameobi and Steven Taylor will talk about his enduring influence while at the St. James’ Park helm.
Lady Elsie says she is looking forward to what promises to be a wonderful night in Gateshead.
“I’m so touched by the enthusiasm there is for this event,” she said. “The way everyone has pitched in to help make this night a success is amazing.
“We were looking at our list of people to thank in the programme and it struck me that it has both FIFA and a local junior football club on there. Bob would have loved that.
“It’s going to be a wonderful night of music, football and comedy and no doubt a lot of very happy memories.”
Tickets for ‘Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration’ sold out within hours of their release in October.