Football's finest unite in Sir Bobby Robson tribute

A Who's Who of football came together today to give thanks for the life of one of the game's best-loved figures.

Manchester united manager Sir Alex Ferguson, England coach Fabio Capello and football legend Sir Bobby Charlton were among the 1,000 guests who filled Durham's magnificent Norman cathedral to pay tribute to Sir Bobby Robson.



Former England players including Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer and Stuart Pearce also attended the memorial service, held seven weeks after Sir Bobby died aged 76 at home in nearby Langley Park.



Lineker, who played in Sir Bobby's Italia 90 England World Cup side, praised his "hugely supportive and fiercely loyal" former coach, telling the congregation: "Sir Bobby Robson, we will miss you but we will never, ever forget you."



One of Sir Bobby's other great triumphs away from football - helping to raise around £1.8 million for his foundation which funds research into the early detection of cancer - was represented by his oncologist, Dr Ruth Plummer, who recruited him to raise money.



The service, broadcast live on television, was beamed to the grounds of Ipswich Town, where Sir Bobby brought incredible European and FA Cup success, and Newcastle United, where he restored belief and Geordie pride when he returned in 1999.



Fans gathered to watch the service on big screens at the grounds, while entry to Durham Cathedral was restricted to guests only.



Locals thronged the winding medieval approach to the cathedral before the event, hoping for a glimpse of some of football's biggest names.



Before the event, Lineker admitted he would be nervous speaking about his mentor's time as England boss.



He said: "I will be nervous because I won't want to let him or his family down. I could probably do with one of his famous pep talks beforehand."



Sir Bobby fought cancer five times and devoted his final years to helping others with the disease.



Such was the affection felt for a genuine football man, his target of raising £500,000 was met in just eight weeks.



In February, he was proud to officially open a cancer trials centre at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, and he said then that he wanted that to be his legacy.



Other guests included managers Sam Allardyce, Mick McCarthy and Terry Venables, and Geordie showbusiness duo Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.



England and Newcastle star Peter Beardsley said as he arrived for the service: "Sir Bobby was one of the greatest football men of all time."



Current Ipswich manager Roy Keane walked alone into the cathedral before the service.



Everton manager David Moyes remembered receiving a hand-written letter from Sir Bobby when he was at Barcelona in response to a request by the would-be coach to come to watch training.



Moyes said he still has a copy of the letter at home.



He added: "All the Premier League managers look up to Sir Bobby."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee