7 Moments from ‘Bobby Robson: More Than A Manager’ That Will Give You Chills

“The English sure love their football.”

Not only do we love watching (and playing) it, but we also write songs about it and produce films and TV about it.

Such proof is Bobby Robson: More Than a Manager, a documentary film about English football’s favourite old uncle (and the Godfather of Newcastle United) Bobby Robson, which continues to draw audiences via Netflix even several years removed from its initial release.

Released in 2018, Gabriel Clarke’s documentary is a loving portrait of a man and his remarkable contributions to the game and further afield, this beloved figure of the sport painted not only in all of his glory, but also all of the intestinal fortitude the man held in his moments of defeat. The film offers a stunning insight into a truly great man, with legends of the game lending their voices to the film in the truest testament of the manager’s far-reaching and continued influence.

In this list, we’re looking closely at all of the great moments outlined in Bobby Robson: More Than a Manager and, in a rough order of increasing intensity, outlining the 7 moments in which this great football documentary is guaranteed to give you chills.

1. Ronaldo?!

With “soccer” being the most popular sport in the world, it is basically impossible for the most disinterested person to avoid the knowledge osmosis, with all people instantly recognising particular names. For much of the turn of the century, it was a universal acknowledgement that Ronaldo was a big deal. Playgrounds around the globe would put up bans on picking Ronaldo on early FIFA computer games due to his insane stats from being the best football player in the world.

So, when in Bobby Robson: More Than A Manager we see Sir Bobby take the FC Barcelona job, and it’s oh-so-casually dropped in that he wants to sign a young player from PSV Eindhoven, hairs stand on end as the realisation sets in that he’s targeting… Ronaldo. As in the original, Brazilian Ronaldo – R9 himself.

Sir Bobby Robson thrust the Ronaldo into prominence?! And at such a risk too – with the move being the world record for a transfer fee at the time.

Robson’s risk is shown to almost instantly pay off as Barcelona win 5-4 against Atlético Madrid in the 1996-97 Copa del Rey, where Ronaldo was responsible for three of the goals. The great manager’s passion as a football person is captured in his reaction to Ronaldo’s goal against Compostela in ’96, in which the just as great player runs off the entire defence.

In Ronaldo’s own words, part of why the goal was so memorable was due to Robson’s unrestrained elation.

2. Ipswich Town Win the FA Cup

Despite Sir Bobby’s continued association with Newcastle United, it is the people of Ipswich who seem to place the greatest claim upon him. Being associated with the club from 1969 to 1982, Ipswich Town proved to be Robson’s longest management gig of his 36 year coaching career.

Back in ’69, Ipswich Town Football Club were not in the best position financially (or in the league table) and Robson was a relatively inexperienced manager at that point – oh how typical of Robson’s legacy to have such a perilous beginning. It took twelve long years, but Robson would ultimately turn around the fortunes of the East Anglian team, winning the much coveted UEFA Cup, one of the loftiest heights any European team could possibly aspire to reach.

The more spine-tingling revelation of the film however, was the club’s FA Cup victory 3 years prior – the auspicious moment in which Robson’s reputation as one of the best football managers in the world truly began.

Every team Robson took on after Ipswich would flourish, leading most to major title victories. It is the footage of the celebration of Ipswich’s FA Cup win that holds the secret to Robson’s success – his passion.

As the cup toured the whole of Suffolk, Robson was always slap bang in the middle of the hubbub, practically jumping for joy, waving the FA Cup high in the air for all to see. This is something all football fans yearn to be a part of for the team they support, and through this eager sharing of the victory, we see the unmistakable warmth and generosity of Robson’s nature, which sets him apart from his peers and contemporaries.

It was the nurturing of his team and players, which went hand in hand with his naturally generous spirit, that was key to his long and continued success.

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  • <cite class="fn">Liz Luff</cite>

    Hello Katie. Thank you for writing this. I enjoyed reading it.

    I’m very lucky to look after PR for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation (and have done since day one). And I can tell you from my own experience of him that Sir Bobby was every bit as special as this wonderful documentary shows him to be.

    I think it’s important to note that More Than A Manager was created with the approval and input of Sir Bobby’s family – and, at the filmmakers’ suggestion, that the film helps raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation by donating a percentage of its profits.

    Sir Bobby set up his cancer Foundation as fund within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Hospitals Charity in 2008. This means we don’t have professional fundraisers to organise events or co-ordinate volunteers. Despite this, more than £14m has been donated or raised by members of the general public to find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer. Sir Bobby called it his, “last and greatest team.”

    The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation works within the NHS and in partnership with other organisations and charities and, while the great man may no longer be with us, his legacy continues to grow.

    Support remains as strong as ever – a phrase Sir Bobby was very fond of using seems fitting here, “I’d like to thank them for their faithfulness” – and (I promise!) there is still media interest in our work.

    Mark Robson, Sir Bobby’s youngest son, was interviewed on BBC 5 Live last week and we have a wonderful fundraiser who, sadly, has stage IV bowel cancer, being interviewed on the BBC World Service on Saturday morning.

    Thanks again for writing this. And you can find out more about the work Sir Bobby’s charity here: http://sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk/

    • <cite class="fn">Katie Doyle</cite>

      Oh wow Liz, I’m very happy and proud that you enjoyed my article, but the film itself is so powerful and a joy to watch. I still must confess that I am humbled that you found it and enjoyed my writing.

      This article came straight from my heart as I am very much a Newcastle United Fan and work as part of the NHS in the North East, so I know the good work that the Foundation does.

      I had no idea that contributions from this documentary went to the Sir Bobby Foundation, so I do hope that my article will help to draw in more audiences (especially as it a genuine “Must See”)

      I hope for every success in the Foundation’s future and that they continue to be a part of the fabric of healthcare in the North East.

      Thank you again for your comment and for sharing more information on the Foundation for our readers.

      • <cite class="fn">Elizabeth Luff</cite>

        Thanks Katie. Yes, a proportion of the money made from the film supports our work – at the filmmakers suggestion. Sir Bobby would have appreciated that. Thanks again, Liz.

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