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.





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

Benitez Talks Injuries & January

Manager Rafa Benitez has given a team news update ahead of tonight's clash against Birmingham City in the FA Cup replay and he's also spoken about January transfer plans.

Riley Explains Postponements

It doesn't happen often in the Premier League or Championship thesedays, but League's 1 & 2 still suffer the odd postponement owing to the weather and Mike Riley...

Vital Preview - FA Cup, 17th-18th January 2017

The 2016-17 FA Cup season continues with the third round replays this midweek. We'll be taking part with the aim of continuing our progress in this world famous competition.

Officials - Newcastle v Birmingham (18/1/17)

The Football Association have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game between Newcastle United and Birmingham City this Wednesday.

Archived TOTT Articles

TOTT articles from

Site Journalists

TNMW
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

FA Cup - Newcastle United v Birmingham City
Suggested By:
Newcastle win67%
Birmingham win33%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 26 18 1 7 55 29
2 Brighton 25 16 6 3 54 23
3 Leeds Utd 26 15 3 8 48 11
4 Reading 25 14 4 7 46 3
5 Huddersfield 26 14 4 8 46 0
6 Sheff Wed 26 13 6 7 45 6
7 Derby County 26 11 7 8 40 5
8 Fulham 25 10 9 6 39 13
9 Preston 26 11 6 9 39 3
10 Barnsley 26 11 5 10 38 4
11 Norwich 26 11 4 11 37 3
12 Birmingham 26 9 9 8 36 -5
13 Aston Villa 26 8 11 7 35 1
14 Ipswich 26 9 7 10 34 -3
15 Brentford 26 9 6 11 33 0
16 Wolves 26 8 8 10 32 -1
17 Q.P.R. 26 9 5 12 32 -11
18 Cardiff 25 8 6 11 30 -10
19 Bristol City 26 8 3 15 27 -3
20 Forest 26 7 6 13 27 -8
21 Burton 26 6 7 13 25 -10
22 Blackburn 26 6 6 14 24 -12
23 Wigan 26 5 7 14 22 -9
24 Rotherham 26 4 4 18 16 -29
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Newcastle United Results (view all)

Newcastle United Fixtures (view all)

Jan 21 2017 3:00PM : Rotherham United (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Jan 28 2017 3:00PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Feb 1 2017 7:45PM : Queens Park Rangers (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Feb 4 2017 3:00PM : Derby County (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Feb 11 2017 5:30PM : Wolverhampton Wanderers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Feb 14 2017 7:45PM : Norwich City (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.CuckFan127
2.Toon_NoMatterWot121
3.PieMag40
4.keggy_keagal38
5.Mcnamee6737
6.Finn_the_Dog36
7.officemonkey26
8.The Pyrry25
9.billybobcat25
10.braith195216
Vital Football Comment