Video & galleries: Family's pride at tributes to Sir Bobby

SIR Bobby Robson's eldest son has told how of his family's pride in the glowing tributes paid to his famous father by the people of Suffolk.

Anthony Bond

SIR Bobby Robson's eldest son has told how of his family's pride in the glowing tributes paid to his famous father by the people of Suffolk.

Paul Robson, 52, paid a moving and personal tribute to his legendary father shortly before Sir Bobby's two former clubs came together on Saturday to remember their former manager.

Speaking to the EADT, Mr Robson said Saturday was very important to the whole Robson family.

He said: “It is just very important for us as a family to be in attendance at Portman Road where my father managed both Ipswich Town and Newcastle United at different stages of his career. We are very honoured and proud to be in attendance and I am sure that it will be an emotional and special occasion.

“He grew to love the area and Suffolk and the people here and really this was where his managerial career started. He always regarded this as the first step in his managerial career and he had a lot of warmth and feeling for this area and its people.”

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Following Sir Bobby's death from cancer on July 31, aged 76, thousands of shirts and scarves were laid in tribute to him at his statue outside Portman Road.

And on Saturday, the North Stand at the stadium was officially changed to the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.

Mr Robson said: “We are honoured and proud that his name is on the stand and it is quite fitting and appropriate. It is a very nice gesture and thought by whoever made that decision.”

Sir Bobby, who turned Ipswich Town into FA Cup and UEFA Cup winners during his 13-years at the club in the 1970s and 1980s, left behind Lady Elsie and three sons when he passed away.

And Mr Robson spoke fondly of the former England manager as a father-figure.

“He was a very warm, caring man who was very supportive to his three sons and we grew up to love football almost as much as he did.

“There is a big void in our lives with our father passing and it has not been an easy time but life moves on and we have to overcome his passing in the best way that we can individually.”

On Saturday more than 27,000 fans, ex-players and dignitaries of both Ipswich Town and Newcastle United took part in moving celebrations of Sir Bobby's life.

And Mr Robson said his father would have loved to have been there. “I think he would be very proud and I am sure that he would love to have been here but he would have no idea of the impact of his passing because he was a very humble person.

And he told how Lady Elsie would have been grateful. “I think she is very appreciative of the efforts being made by Ipswich Town to honour my father and we hope it is as special to everybody at Ipswich Town Football Club as it is to us as a family.”

Sir Bobby battled with cancer five times and during the last 18 months of his life he dedicated himself to his charity The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

And like everything else in his life, Sir Bobby was passionate about it.

Mr Robson said: “He regarded it as his last big challenge in life. It is raising money for what we believe is a fantastic cause which is raising money for clinical trials of drugs to beat cancer. That was something that was very dear to him.”

BLOB: Paul Robson was speaking to the EADT after he was presented with a cheque for �1,000 by Fairview Homes for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. It was presented at the Sir Bobby Robson Footbridge which will be officially opened by Ipswich Borough Council in November.

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