I'd love Town to win Cup again: Robson
SIR Bobby Robson hopes to see former club Ipswich emulate their FA Cup-winning feat of 25 years ago.The Newcastle manager was back on familiar ground at Portman Road last night as the guest speaker at a celebration dinner that reunited the Wembley winners of 1978.
By Mel Henderson
SIR Bobby Robson hopes to see former club Ipswich emulate their FA Cup-winning feat of 25 years ago.
The Newcastle manager was back on familiar ground at Portman Road last night as the guest speaker at a celebration dinner that reunited the Wembley winners of 1978.
Nine of the men who brought the most famous trophy of them all to Suffolk attended the glittering event, only Allan Hunter and Paul Mariner declining invitations for family reasons.
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Sir Bobby, for whom the FA Cup Final victory over Arsenal was the highlight of his 13 years in charge of Ipswich, paid tribute to each one of his players.
And, turning to chairman David Sheepshanks as he neared the end of an emotional speech, Sir Bobby admitted: "My heart is with you.
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"I am sure there will be good times ahead and I would love it if you could just win that FA Cup again during your time in charge."
Later, Sir Bobby added: "Not many clubs in Ipswich's situation would go ahead and organise an evening like this. In fact, they might just be the only ones who would.
"It says a lot for them that they put their current troubles to be one side and pay tribute to great players from the past who will always have a big part in the club's history."
Sheepshanks welcomed more than 300 guests to a sell-out event big on nostalgia and made only a fleeting reference to the season just ended.
"It has been an annus horribilis," he said. "But we are now in recovery mode and recover we will, strongly."
Sheepshanks paid tribute to Sir Bobby's time in charge between 1969 and 1982 when he added: "We salute you. Your achievements here will go down in the annals of the club's history, never to be surpassed."
Sir Bobby recalled the memorable 1977-78 season that saw Ipswich struggle in the league, yet always rise to the occasion when the FA Cup beckoned.
He said: "There was a feeling that it could be our year and when we actually made it to Wembley it was the very best of feelings.
"I remember the lads looking to place a bet on themselves – that's how confident they were. Now I didn't like to lose money, but it was important that I flashed my fifty quid.
"I had to show my own confidence in them. Fifty quid was a lot of money then – do you realise our skipper, Mick Mills, was on £250 a week then?
"I know the title is about a long, tough season and being crowned champions, but winning the FA Cup is just about the single best day you can have in football. It was the most glorious feeling I have ever had."
Sir Bobby singled out goalscorer Roger Osborne for special mention and recalled the moment when Ipswich eventually found the net in what was a very one-sided clash.
There were laughs all round as he remembered how Osborne was so overcome with emotion and exhaustion that he had to be replaced.
"He wasn't injured," said Sir Bobby. "He just, er, flipped. Didn't you Roger?
"Three weeks later my wife bought me a black and white cocker spaniel – we couldn't find a blue and white one.
"There was only one name for him, Roger. He was with me for 14 years and every time I took him for a walk I thought about Roger Osborne and how he scored at Wembley."
Osborne was one of several players who took part in a question and answer session hosted by the master of
ceremonies, Ipswich Town press manager Terry Baxter.
"How much did you pay Arsenal defender Willie Young to pass the ball to you?" joked Baxter, referring to the Arsenal defender's clearance.
"If I had paid him I'd have made sure he put it on my right foot," laughed the goal hero. "Bobby Robson spent ten years trying to teach me how to kick with my left and I think that was the only time I
Former skipper Mick Mills proposed a vote of thanks on behalf of the FA Cup-winning side and an auction of memorabilia raised over £4,000