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Dutch master backs knighthood

PUBLISHED: 22:00 22 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 March 2010

FORMER Dutch midfield maestro Frans Thijssen has thrown his weight behind the huge campaign to get Bobby Robson a knighthood.

From his home in Holland he said that Robson had, and was still achieving, a fantastic career and deserved a knighthood for his devotion to the sport.

FORMER Dutch midfield maestro Frans Thijssen has thrown his weight behind the huge campaign to get Bobby Robson a knighthood.

From his home in Holland he said that Robson had, and was still achieving, a fantastic career and deserved a knighthood for his devotion to the sport.

Robson gave Thijssen's career a kick-start when he brought him over from Holland to Ipswich in 1979.

Along with Thijssen, Robson also brought over another Dutch superstar in the form of Arnold Muhren.

Thijssen played for Ipswich during the glory years when Robson had dragged the club up from threats of relegation.

During a dream decade the club qualified for Europe in nine seasons out of ten, picking up the UEFA Cup and FA Cup along the way.

Thijssen, who is now a football coach, said: "I had four great years at the club.

"(Robson) has proved that he is a great manager and as he built up the team at Ipswich he is now doing the same at Newcastle."

The Evening Star has joined a nationwide campaign to get Robson knighted.

His 34-year career failed to impress in time for the New Years Honours List, but there is growing belief that he might get to be included on the Queen's Jubilee Honours List later in the year.

During his career Robson guided England to two world cup tournaments in 1986 and 1990.

Looking back at his credentials it comes as no surprise that hundreds of people across the whole country have come out in support of the campaign to get Robson knighted.

Whether he does or he doesn't Thijsson firmly believes that the honour would be placed.

He said: "Of course he deserves it.

"If you look at how long he has been in football – he can't stop, he can't live without it."

A statue of Robson is set to be unveiled at Portman Road as soon as it is known whether he has been knighted or not.

Sculptor, Sean Hedges-Quinn, known to most people as Coach, is putting the final touches to the statue which Robson has taken a great interest in.

Sean has spent around 400 hours making the statue and meeting up with Robson regularly to get measurements and photos.

Space has been left on the plinth to insert the word 'Sir' if the knighthood is given and Robson is set to unveil the statue himself outside the Greene King Stand later this year.

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