Leading figures from the world of football, politics and even royalty have been paying tribute to Sir Bobby Robson who lost his battle against cancer, aged 76.
Robson was one of the most beloved men in the sport after leading England to the semi finals of Italia 90, the closest they have come to winning the World Cup since 1966.
At club level, he cut his managerial teeth at Fulham before establishing his credentials at Ipswich where he won the FA Cup and Uefa Cup in a 13-year stay.
Spells at PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona followed before he managed Newcastle United.
Here’s a selection of the tributes that have been paid to Sir Bobby, a gentleman of the game in every respect.
Sir Alex Ferguson
I was never too big or proud to ask him for advice which he gave freely and unconditionally. And I’m sure I am speaking for a lot of people when I say that.
In my 23 years working in England there is not a person I would put an inch above Bobby Robson. I mourn the passing of a great friend, a wonderful individual, a tremendous football man and somebody with passion and knowledge of the game that was unsurpassed.
His character was hewn out of the coal face, developed by the Durham mining background that he came from. His parents instilled in him the discipline and standards which forged the character of a genuinely colossal human being. He added his own qualities to that which then he passed on to his sons.
The strength and courage he showed over the past couple of years when battling against his fifth bout of cancer was indescribable. Always a smile, always a friendly word with never a mention of his own problems. The world, not just the football world, will miss him. Let’s hope it won’t be long before another like him turns up because we could never get enough of them.
I’m speechless. I’m devastated. Bobby was like my second dad. I was like a son to him.
I can’t describe how much he meant to me. I’ve just been crying for three hours, and I’ve come to see my mum and my dad. It’s just unbelievable.
He gave me a chance to play in the World Cup. I can’t really talk that much because I just want to cry, that’s all.
I love him. And his wife Elsie – I’ll always be there for her. I’m sort of numb.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
I was extremely saddened to hear of the death of Sir Bobby Robson. I had the privilege of meeting Bobby on many occasions. He epitomised everything that is great about football in this country.His passion, patriotism, dedication and professionalism knew no equal during his time both as a player and a manager.
His remarkable achievements as manager of Ipswich Town and then of England are among the most distinguished in English football history, and he was able to replicate that extraordinary success during his time at PSV Eindhoven, Porto and Barcelona.
Over the past few years, he fought cancer with his characteristic tenacity and good humour.
He will be sorely missed – not only in Newcastle and Ipswich, both of whom he served with such devotion, but by all sports fans in our country. My sincere condolences go to his wife Elsie and his family.
Bobby Robson is one of those people who never die, not so much for what he did in his career, for one victory more or less, but for what he knew to give to those who had, like me, the good fortune to know him and walk by his side.
My thoughts and embraces go to all his loved ones.
Barcelona club statement
Barcelona is in mourning. During his period with the club, Robson won the affection of all Cules (Barca supporters). He is a true legend of world football.
Prince William, President of the FA
I am deeply saddened to hear about Sir Bobby Robson’s death.
His contribution to English football as a player, manager and superb ambassador for our national game has been immense.
He will be sadly missed by football fans everywhere, and I am thinking about his family at this difficult time.