Vital Football

Latest Newcastle United News

Sir Bobby - Gone but never forgotten - Part 1

Sir Bobby - Gone but never forgotten - Part 1

In amongst pulling the mother of all shifts at work, the sad passing of Sir Bobby came on the tv screen in the canteen, revealing the news that the great man had finally slipped away following his 5th battle against cancer.

Despite working in Leeds, what immediately struck me was how people who had showed no interest or acknowledgement of football, especially not with Newcastle, England or Ipswich, reacted. To a man / woman there was a genuine sense of sadness which was particularly surprising. I guess that was what made SBR so special, the fact he transcended the normal interest in football, through his character and his special qualities as a human being.

Trailing back to the 1999-2000 season and we were in one of our usual start of the season messes. Ruud Gullit had spent a lot of money on faceless, nameless foreign mercenaries, isolated our twin towers of Shearer and Ferguson up front and was clearing out stalwarts like Warren Barton and Rob Lee.

Losses to Spurs, Southampton, Villa and then, above all, Sunderland, led to Shearer and co beating a hasty passage to Gullit's door and taking it off it's hinges. Shepherd promptly sacked the Dutchman and two days later, through lovely retrospective glasses, on August 28th 1999 I got the best 18th birthday present I could have wished for. We appointed Sir Bobby following a long road that trailed back to the departure of Keegan in 97.

Originally Hall and Shepherd tried to get Bobby then but, as was the measure of his man, he wouldn't break a contract he had only just signed with Barcelona as he had given them his word. Barca promptly shafted him by giving him a different position but he didn't complain and did a quality job at the Camp Nou. So missed an opporunity to win the title with Keegan's team and Bobby's nous, something I thought would have come eventually.

Having Bobby in was a soother, a comfort. Gone were the surly, charisma-less interviews of Dalglish and the arrogant pronouncements of Gullit. Instead we had understanding of our mentality by one of our own, honesty, warmth and humour. Not only that but results improved dramatically. 8-0 v Sheffield Wednesday in his first home game, 6-1 v Spurs in the cup, 5-0 v Southampton and a famous 3-0 v Man Utd.

Of course Poyet killed us off in the cup semi final which was heartbreaking as Rob Lee's goal saw us score at Wembley for the first time since the 70s, to a noise level you'd be difficult to ever equal. By the end SBR had led us from 2nd bottom to 11th.

Season 2000/01 saw us in the expanded 52,000 seater SJP under the great man. We again flattered to deceive, with the likes of Carl Cort failing to live up to his billing following a serious of injuries. Alan Shearer also suffered badly and missed the season bulk with tendonitus. Highlights were the 2-1 against Liverpool, the double against Leeds. However we were never in trouble and had a period of rebuilding, under which Bobby established which lads he could take into the trenches with him. This was to be crucial to the next two seasons.

Continued in part 2.



Exclusive to Vital ! Read now ! The Vital Boxing John H Stacey Interview



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Ross Molyneux
Date:Saturday August 1 2009
Time: 10:26AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Newcastle United Articles

Murphy's Ipswich Return Ruled Out

Daryl Murphy has failed to make a league appearance for Newcastle since his arrival from Ipswich in the summer and that has seen him linked with a New Year exit.

Vital Preview - Championship, 9th-11th Dec 2016

The 2016-17 season continues with the latest round of games this weekend. This will see us among those involved with three points of course the aim.

Match Day Officials v Birmingham (10/12/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Birmingham City this weekend.

Newcastle Win Forest Appeals

Newcastle's appeals against the red cards to Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett in the Friday night defeat at Nottingham Forest have been successful.

Archived TOTT Articles

TOTT articles from

Site Journalists

TNMW
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Newcastle United v Birmingham City
Suggested By:
Newcastle win67%
Birmingham win0%
Draw33%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Brighton 20 12 6 2 42 19
2 Newcastle 19 13 1 5 40 21
3 Reading 19 10 4 5 34 1
4 Leeds Utd 20 10 2 8 32 1
5 Birmingham 19 8 7 4 31 2
6 Sheff Wed 19 9 4 6 31 1
7 Norwich 19 9 3 7 30 4
8 Huddersfield 19 9 3 7 30 -3
9 Derby County 19 8 5 6 29 4
10 Fulham 19 7 7 5 28 9
11 Bristol City 19 8 3 8 27 4
12 Barnsley 19 7 4 8 25 3
13 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
14 Preston 19 7 4 8 25 1
15 Aston Villa 19 5 10 4 25 1
16 Ipswich 19 6 6 7 24 -2
17 Q.P.R. 19 6 5 8 23 -8
18 Brentford 19 6 4 9 22 -2
19 Burton 19 5 7 7 22 -4
20 Wolves 19 5 6 8 21 -3
21 Blackburn 19 5 5 9 20 -7
22 Cardiff 19 5 4 10 19 -12
23 Wigan 19 4 6 9 18 -5
24 Rotherham 19 1 4 14 7 -26
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Newcastle United Results (view all)

Newcastle United Fixtures (view all)

Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Birmingham City (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 14 2016 7:45PM : Wigan Athletic (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 17 2016 3:00PM : Burton Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 26 2016 7:45PM : Sheffield Wednesday (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 30 2016 7:45PM : Nottingham Forest (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Jan 2 2017 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Toon_NoMatterWot23
2.Mcnamee6722
3.billybobcat10
4.keggy_keagal9
5.Finn_the_Dog6
6.The Owl6
7.officemonkey4
8.PieMag3
9.Sir Laz2
10.North Yorkshire Mag2
The Vital Football Members League