Beloved soccer legend Sir Robert William Robson (1933-2009) was born on this day in Langley Park, County Durham, England, the son of a miner. Passionate and opinionated, he dedicated his life to soccer--as a player and manager.
"My mother brought me into this world. My father brought me to football," he once said. "I fell in love with the game when I was a kid and it's been that constant love affair. I'm immersed in it. I can watch football anywhere."
In 1950, Robson began his 20-year playing career dazzling fans with his inside-forward moves at Fulham and West Brom. He played in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden and won 20 England caps, scoring four times. He said, "The name of the game is to win. You have to win for your country."
Robson began his managerial career with Fulham in 1968, then moved to Ipswich, leading them to the FA Cup in 1978 and the Uefa Cup in 1981. He was honest and authentic. He was loved. "Practice makes permanent," he said.
He coached England to the 1990 World Cup semifinals and won soccer trophies in four countries, leading Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona, and PSV Eindhoven. He ended his coaching career in 1999, managing his dearly-loved Newcastle.
About his successes, Sir Bobby said, "Nobody wins everything on his own. Even Tiger Woods has a caddy."
A celebration of patriotism, dedication, and professionalism, Robson was given a knighthood in 2002. Known for fighting the good fight, this hero to millions lost his long (fifth) battle with cancer."Every job I had was an adventure... I loved every different aspect of it," he said.
Are you doing what you were born for?