England had suffered a disastrous Euro campaign in 1988
Robson enjoyed his finest moment for England in his final tournament in charge. The FA told him they wouldn’t extend his contract beyond the World Cup of 1990 so that was Robson’s final opportunity to lead England to glory.
He came very close to doing just that as an exciting England team progressed to the semi finals, but were defeated by West Germany in a penalty shootout.
The team returned as heroes and the public hailed Robson as a legend for taking the team so close to winning a major tournament.
Winning titles all over Europe
Robson’s next job after leaving England was at Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven. He won the league title two years running in 1990/1 and 1991/2. While at PSV, he clashed with Brazilian superstar Romario about his party lifestyle. The two men couldn’t come to a compromise and the issues between them were never fully resolved.
In any case, issues off the pitch were overshadowed by the team’s results. Despite domestic success, PSV didn’t do well in Europe and Robson was dismissed.
Becoming Bobby Five-O in Portugal
He then moved on to Portuguese side Sporting Clube de Portugal where he endured a difficult time with the club’s president often signing players without his consent. The club dismissed Robson after just over a year in charge despite sitting at the top of the table.
Robson was soon appointed as manager of Portuguese rivals FC Porto. The Portuguese giants were suffering a poor run of results and the attendances had dropped to an all-time low.
However, Robson soon changed the club’s fortunes and he led then to the Portuguese Cup and consecutive league titles. He affectionately became known as ‘Bobby Five-O’ due to the frequency of which his team handed out hammerings to their unfortunate opponents.
Taking over Barcelona
In the summer of 1996 Robson was made the manager of one of the biggest clubs in world football, Barcelona. He was only in charge for a year, but in that time he signed Brazilian superstar Ronaldo and led the team to three trophies; the Spanish Cup, the Spanish Super Cup and the Cup Winner’s Cup.
The following season Robson changed positions at the club to a role of ‘General Manager’ to allow Dutchman Louis Van Gaal to take over team matters. Again, Robson only stayed in this post for one season, after which he moved back to PSV where he led the club to third to qualify for the Champions League.
Becoming a Toon Legend
In 1999 Robson became Newcastle manager as the replacement for Ruud Gullit who had been sacked. He immediately became a hero to the fans after masterminding the 8-0 demolition of Sheffield Wednesday in his first game at St James Park.
Robson put Alan Shearer straight back into the team after he had sometimes been left out by Gullit as the two didn’t get on. Shearer repaid Robson by scoring five times.
After taking over Newcastle with the club at the bottom of the Premier League, Robson led them to 11th, 5th, 3rd and 4th placed finishes. He also filled the stadium with his team playing the type of attacking, exciting football that the Newcastle fans demand.
However, he was sacked by Newcastle chairman, Freddy Shepherd after a poor start to the season in 2004 despite the majority of Newcastle fans remaining behind him.
He was briefly a football consultant to Steve Staunton when he was in charge the Republic of Ireland team but had to step down from his post after the team failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
Goodbye to one of the greats
Sir Bobby Robson died in 2009. He battled with cancer throughout his later life after being first diagnosed in 1992. He beat the disease several times but tragically it kept returning.
The Bobby Robson Foundation was set up in 2008 to help with cancer research and in less than a year it had raised more than £1million.
In 2002, Robson was knighted for his services to football. He had managed the national team to within a whisker of the World Cup Final and had also represented England with passion and dignity across Europe.
Robson is undoubtedly England’s greatest ever managerial export. Throughout his career he was a respected and much loved character in the game.