By CHRIS WRIGHT [email protected]
Fabricio Coloccini saved Newcastle from defeat against SC Braga on the inaugural Sir Bobby Robson Day. The Newcastle team wore special black and white halved shirts to honour the former Sporting, FC Porto, Newcastle and England manager who lost his battle with cancer four years ago.
To coincide with the English Football Association’s 150th anniversary, 150 events took place across the UK for the Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day. Sir Bobby’s widow, Lady Elsie Robson, who joined him on many of his golf classics in the Algarve, said: “I’m sure Bob would have been thrilled having a National Football Day named in his honour. He was always so incredibly passionate about football. He just loved it, whatever level it was being played at. He was lucky enough to play and manage at the top of the game but he was just as enthusiastic talking to youngsters about their junior club matches.”
Whilst manager of FC Porto from 1994 to 1996, Sir Bobby won the Portuguese Cup, League Championship and Portuguese Super Cup. Such was the impact of Robson at Porto, he became known to the locals as “Bobby Five-O” in honour of the number of matches Porto won 5-0.
He appointed Mourinho as his assistant manager, and living in the same apartment block at the time was another future Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager, the young André Villas-Boas, who, aged 16, introduced himself to Robson.
Robson subsequently appointed Villas-Boas to work in the Porto observation department and helped him gain his UEFA ‘C’ coaching badge.
Porto were in a poor state when Robson arrived and the average attendance had dwindled to 10,000. The club promptly went on to beat Robson’s former club, Sporting, in the Portuguese Cup final, following that achievement with successive League titles in 1994-95 and 1995-96.
Whilst Braga were being held to a 1-1 draw at Newcastle, 300 miles away in east London, Paços de Ferreira were beaten 2-1 by West Ham United.
The Hammers, who days earlier had returned from participating in the Guadiana Tournament in Portimão, scored through Morrison and Maiga.
Manuel José’s curling effort reduced the arrears for Paços de Ferreira. The team from northern Portugal will be facing Olhanense in the Algarve next weekend only days after playing Zenit St. Petersburg in the Champions League play-off round.