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By ESPN Staff

Robson memorial garden opens

A garden celebrating the life and times of former England manager Sir Bobby Robson has been officially opened close to Newcastle's St James' Park ground.

Sir Bobby's widow, Lady Elsie, helped to unveil a sculpture marking his achievements both in football and the fundraising campaign upon which he embarked as he tackled his final battle with cancer.

The memorial, which was produced by north-east-born sculptor Graeme Mitcheson, sits close to St James' Park, home of the club Robson supported as a boy and managed for five thrilling years between 1999 and 2004.

Current Magpies manager Alan Pardew and Sir Bobby's former assistant John Carver, as well as Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias and reserve team coach Peter Beardsley, represented the club as civic dignitaries and hundreds of supporters turned out to witness the unveiling.

Lady Elsie said: ''My husband took great pride in his own garden at home and my family and I feel this is a very fitting memorial to him.

''We're very grateful to everyone who has helped make this garden a reality and look forward to seeing it develop and grow over the years. I hope people enjoy spending time there remembering Bob with affection.''

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