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Jan 16, 2013

National Football Day named after Robson

Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson is to have a National Football Day named in his honour, the Football Association has announced.

As part of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations, August 10 will be used to commemorate the man who led England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1990 and was a popular figure in English and world football throughout his career.

Robson died at the age of 76 in 2009 following a long battle with cancer. His wife Elsie continues to work on the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, set up in 2008, and was consulted about the scheme which will involve around 150 clubs across all levels of the game.

"I'm thrilled that the FA is involving my family," she said. "Bob launched his cancer charity in 2008 and right from the start the FA has been on hand to support us. He'd have loved this and I think it's very fitting as it will be a day celebrating and encouraging grassroots football. Bob never lost his own boyish enthusiasm for the game no matter what was happening off the field."

Robson won trophies at Ipswich Town, PSV Eindhoven, Porto and Barcelona as well as guiding Newcastle United to qualification for the Champions League two years in a row. However, he will be most fondly remembered by most for leading England to the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico before going one round further four years later.

"Bob just didn't feel he could turn his country down when he was approached," Elsie said. "For him, it was a huge honour to be asked and he never took the role for granted. Every game and every result meant the world to him and I think it's that passion and commitment which people remember so fondly now.

"He was at the helm of the national side for eight years – and they were eight very challenging years. He missed the week-in week-out of club football, the kind of adrenalin that comes with that, but it really was the pinnacle of his career. He was so close to success in Mexico and Italy and he loved working with the England players."

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