I’m not a great fan of biographies. Seriously, far too many non-entities these days are spewing the events of their eventless lives into books. Clearly, Sir Bobby Robson does not fit that description and I read this keenly to find out what he had to say about his time as England manager, what he thought of Maradona after “that” incident and the events surrounding his time as manager of Newcastle United.
This autobiography, poignantly named “Farewell, but not goodbye” was written shortly after he left Newcastle and wound down into retirement and was released as a commemorative edition with 2 extra chapters following his death from cancer in 2009. In his life, he fought it – and beat it – five times. There is a lesson to us all in the fighting spirit but before that, Sir Bobby wants to take us on a journey. From his early life to his playing career and finally his meteoric career as a manager from Ipswich to England to the Continent and finally to his beloved Newcastle. Very few stones are unturned and many of the niggling questions are answered here, including a few stories that never made it into the public domain at the time.
A true gentleman of the game, football fans will read this with a hint of sadness of what he have lost in the game since the 1970s and how much has changed. You will also experience his managerial genius and critical eye for a good talent.
The only complaint I have is that we don’t hear much about his playing career, it is almost glossed over despite that he played for England. This could, and should, have been a longer book and I feel we deserved to hear about more of the on the pitch exploits for England, even though his career was as much about being what went on off the pitch as well as on.
This is an absolute must for a football fan