Honour for Town icon Sir Bobby

IT'S official - Sir Bobby Robson will be given Ipswich's highest honour when the town celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Blues' FA Cup glory.

Grant Sherlock

IT'S official - Sir Bobby Robson will be given Ipswich's highest honour when the town celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Blues' FA Cup glory.

Ipswich's civic leaders heaped praise on the man some referred to as one of the town's greatest personalities when they unanimously backed a proposal to bestow one of England's all-time football greats the Freedom of Ipswich honour.

In a cross-party show of support, members of Ipswich Borough Council met at the Corn Exchange to recommend, in the clearest of terms, that Sir Bobby should be given the rare accolade.

The vote at a special full council meeting last night paves the way for the legendary former Ipswich Town manager to be given the honour in a Town Hall balcony ceremony when the entire FA Cup winning team of 1978 is reunited in front of a huge crowd of fans on the Cornhill late on Monday afternoon.

The ceremony is set to be a special treat for Sir Bobby and all Blues fans during the 30 Years of Honour event, organised by The Evening Star, Ipswich Borough Council, BBC Radio Suffolk and Ipswich Town.

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In putting the motion that Sir Robert William Robson CBE be given the Freedom of Ipswich - a title given only to the most celebrated residents of the town - mayor Inga Lockington said: “Sir Bobby Robson has been a tremendous ambassador for Ipswich.

“His contribution goes beyond the world of football and his charity fundraising for Ipswich Hospital.”

She said Sir Bobby, who managed Ipswich between 1969 and 1982, was an internationally renowned sporting personality who led Ipswich Town to glory in the 1970s and '80s and recommended he be given the honour for his “immense contribution to Ipswich”.

The mayor's recommendation was met with unequivocal support from councillors at the meeting.

Liz Harsant, the council leader, said: “I believe he is one of the greatest sporting heroes of our time. Sir Bobby is a true football legend in his own lifetime.”

David Ellesmere, the Labour group leader, said Sir Bobby was “one of the most well-known and well-loved figures in football” and added: “He is described as one of the finest managers and ambassadors for football that this country has ever produced and I think that is correct. I think it is only right that we accord him with the greatest honour Ipswich can bestow.”

Michelle Bevan-Margetts, who represents Whitton ward, said: “I cannot think of a nicer honour for a very kind and nice man.”

Tell us your favourite Sir Bobby Robson story and your most cherished memories of Ipswich Town's glory days. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk