Sir Bobby gives Evans seal of approval

SIR Bobby Robson today gave his seal of approval to Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans.The Blues president enjoyed 14 successful years as manager at Portman Road in an era when the club was run in the Corinthian spirit by old Etonians John and Patrick Cobbold.

Elvin King

SIR Bobby Robson today gave his seal of approval to Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans.

The Blues president enjoyed 14 successful years as manager at Portman Road in an era when the club was run in the Corinthian spirit by old Etonians John and Patrick Cobbold.

But he appreciates that football is run differently these days, which a huge gap between the riches of the Premier League and the scraps that the remaining professional clubs have to fight over.

“Ipswich have been in need of a benefactor,” said Robson, 75, who is coming back to town for the 1978 FA Cup-winning celebrations on Monday May 5.

“If you are not in the Premier League these days it is a struggle to keep your head above water financially.

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“And the Ipswich debt after they were relegated from the top flight in 2002 has been problematic to them.

“Having Marcus Evans come in with his investment has given manager Jim Magilton a chance - and it looks as though the chairman and board have made a wise choice.”

The man who went on to manage England after he left Portman Road added: “I am sure the board was not hasty in making their decision.

“And they have gone for an English benefactor, which is good.

“Having spoken to people at the club I understand that Mr Evans appreciates what Ipswich Town means to the area and to their supporters.

“The majority of the most successful clubs have owners and chairman who keep a low profile like Manchester United and Arsenal.

“And it looks as though Ipswich will do the same.

“I would like to meet Marcus Evans and hopefully one day soon I will.

“We will have to wait and see what development plans he has.”

And Robson is pleased that David Sheepshanks has remained the Ipswich figurehead and is carrying on the traditions laid down by the Cobbold family.

“They threw away the mould when John and Patrick Cobbold died,” said Robson. “They were magnificent chairmen and never put any pressure on me.

“Just two things were important to them - staying in the First Division and keeping in the black.

“David Sheepshanks knows the Cobbold way of doing things. If you cut him open you would fine blue and white blood in his veins.

“He will continue to see the club is run properly and ensure the right decisions are made and for the benefit of the club and the town.”

Robson, who had a brain tumour removed in 2006, is busy organising The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and is determined to raise £0.5million.

Already £200,000 has been raised, and he said: “It is a horrible disease and we all know someone affected.

“Around one in three will suffer, and that's 20 million people in this country.

“I want the money to be raised to enable more clinical trials to be made, and to have more cases of early detection. There are new drugs that need to be tested.

“It is a fantastic cause - and it will save lives.”

To make a donation to The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation visit: www.justgiving.com/TheSirBobbyRobsonFoundation or send a cheque to: Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, PO Box 307, Heaton, Newcastle, NE7 7QG.

All donors will receive a personalised certificate and a letter of thanks from Sir Bobby.

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