Robson's ten best signings

Sir Bobby Robson spent 36 years as a club manager working with some of the best players in the world.

During his time at Fulham, Ipswich, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona and Newcastle, he used his judgement of talent to recruit a series of top signings.

Here, we take a look at ten of his best swoops:

MALCOLM MACDONALD

During his short spell in charge at Craven Cottage, Robson paid non-league Tonbridge £1,000 for left-back Macdonald in the belief he had what it would take to become a dangerous centre-forward. History would prove him right as Macdonald became 'Supermac' at Newcastle, where he scored 138 goals in 258 appearances before winning a £333,333 move to Arsenal.

KEVIN BEATTIE

Robson often spoke of Beattie, a man who revelled in the alternative nicknames of "the Beast" and "Diamond", in the same breath as Brazilian striker Ronaldo. Unearthed as a 16-year-old, the pacy Carlisle born-defender played for England at just 19, but his career was ended prematurely by a knee injury.

TERRY BUTCHER

Singapore-born Butcher was another to emerge from the ranks to provide a rock solid foundation for Ipswich and England. His partnership with Russell Osman establish him as a legend at Portman Road, and his at times blood-spattered heroics for his country earned him wider acclaim.

JOHN WARK

Spotted as a 15-year-old by Town scout George Findlay, Wark made his debut as a central defensive replacement for the injured Beattie at the age of 17 and never looked back. He was transformed into a goalscoring midfielder and won a £450,000 move to Liverpool in 1984, although he was to have two further spells with the Suffolk club.

PAUL MARINER

A £220,000 signing from Plymouth, striker Mariner was to star for both Ipswich and England before making a £150,000 move to Arsenal in 1984. Prolific for both club and country - he scored 13 goals in 35 international appearances - he was a major figure in Town's rise to domestic and European prominence.

ARNOLD MUHREN

Robson could barely believe his luck when he was able to snap up Twente Enschede midfielder Muhren for just £150,000 in August 1978. The cultured Dutchman helped Ispwich win the 1981 UEFA Cup before moving to Manchester United and then back to Ajax, and was part of the Holland side crowned European champions in 1988.

FRANS THIJSSEN

Signed for £220,000 from Twente six months after Muhren's arrival in England, Thijssen proved equally adept and popular at Portman Road. A player who could run at defenders, he provided a genuine threat and scored in both legs of the UEFA Cup final victory over AZ Alkmaar.

RONALDO

Having been told by Blackburn that Alan Shearer was not for sale, Robson perusaded Barcelona president Josep Luis Nunez to pay USD20million to former club PSV Eindhoven for 20-year-old Brazilian Ronaldo. He was richly rewarded as the striker scored 45 goals in 48 starts as the Catalans won three trophies during the manager's year in charge at the Nou Camp.

RUUD VAN NISTELROOY

Signed by PSV from Heerenveen on his 22nd birthday for a then record £4.2million switch between Dutch clubs, van Nistelrooy was to score 31 goals in 34 games in a transitional period for the club. Robson saw enough during his second spell in Holland to know he had a big star on his hands, and that talent has since been exploited to the full by Manchester United and Real Madrid.

CRAIG BELLAMY

Eyebrows were raised when Robson paid Coventry £6million to take Bellamy to Newcastle in July 2001. But despite a series of run-ins, the fiery Welshman resurrected his career on Tyneside and established himself as a genuine Barclays Premiership striker before his fall-out with Graeme Souness saw him shown the door.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss