Bryan Robson fighting throat cancer

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Former England captain Bryan Robson has undergone surgery for throat cancer, Manchester United said yesterday. Robson was in Bangkok when he had the operation on 3 March and United have said specialists are optimistic about the chances of a full recovery.

The former United captain is currently combining his work as a United ambassador with coaching the Thailand national team. A United statement said: "At this moment Bryan is fine to continue with his role as Thailand coach."

Although it seems Robson has managed to catch the tumour at an early stage, news of the operation will come as a shock.

The 54-year-old was always regarded as the fittest of players, able to push himself far beyond the likes of Paul McGrath and Norman Whiteside who, like Robson, were also noted for their fondness for a drink. He won 90 caps for England, 65 as captain and was dubbed Captain Marvel by Sir Bobby Robson. When he left United in 1994 he had led the club to three FA Cups, the European Cup Winners' Cup and two Premier League titles.