Sir Bobby honoured at Portman Road

SIR Bobby Robson was honoured by thousands of fans from Ipswich Town and Newcastle United.

Anthony Bond

SIR Bobby Robson has been honoured today by thousands of fans from Ipswich Town and Newcastle United.

Despite Town losing the Coco-Cola Championship match 4-0, fans and the club will be proud of how they remembered the former legendary manager.

About an hour before kick-off, thousands of fans chanted “There's only one Bobby Robson” as they watched representatives of both Ipswich Town and Newcastle United lay wreaths at the foot of the Sir Bobby Robson statue outside Portman Road.

Former Town captain Mick Mills lay a wreath on behalf of Sir Bobby's former players.

About 15 minutes before kick-off, nearly 40 former players and coaches who had worked with Sir Bobby were introduced to the crowd, with massive cheers going up for the likes of John Wark, Kevin Beattie and George Burley.

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As the players were paraded across the pitch, more chants of 'There's only one Bobby Robson” filled Portman Road.

Suffolk's Laura Wright, a member of the operatic group All Angels, provided one of the most spine-tingling moments of the afternoon as she sang the hymn Abide With Me, with both sets of fans joining in.

At half-time, with Town already 3-0 down, the former players again came onto the pitch with a huge flag showing Sir Bobby's face with the word 'legend' printed on it.

The FA Cup and UEFA Cup won by Sir Bobby's Town in 1978 and 1981 respectively were carried onto the pitch by Mick Mills and Frans Thijssen.

Singer Laura Wright again took to this pitch for another emotional moment as she sang Sir Bobby's favourite song My Way.

As the song drew to a close, Sir Bobby's widow Lady Elsie and sons Mark and Paul walked onto the pitch.

And massive cheers went up from the crowd of 27,059 when the stadium announcer said: “ladies and gentlemen, from this moment the stand at the north of this stadium will be called the Sir Bobby Robson Stand”.

Lady Elsie and her two sons, who cut ribbons to officially open the stand, then released 709 blue and white balloons to mark the number of league and cup games that Sir Bobby was in charge of with Ipswich.

Unfortunately for Town, the football on the pitch did not live up to expectations as they were thrashed 4-0. At the final whistle, Town fans poured out of the stadium as more than 1800 Newcastle fans chanted: “There's only one Bobby Robson.”