Describing Sir Bobby Robson as a colossal man with extraordinary enthusiasm, Fabio Capello, Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and FIFA president Sepp Blatter led tributes to the former England manager, who died aged 76 after a long struggle with cancer.
Prince William, president of the Football Association, said the much travelled coach was also a superb ambassador for our national game, Prime Minister Gordon Brown praised Robson's passion, patriotism, dedication and professionalism, and European champion Barcelona, one of his former clubs, said he was an authentic legend of world football.
Robson took England to the World Cup semifinals in 1990 when they were only beaten by West Germany on penalties and had club successes on home soil and in Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. But there were tributes too for the way he fought against cancer having first been diagnosed in 1991 but worked in football until two years ago.
“It is difficult to accept such a person is no longer with us but he is immortal because he leaves in everybody who knows him a mark of his personality. A great coach but, more than that, a great person,” said Mourinho, who worked under Robson at Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto and Barcelona. “I hadn't spoken to him in the last two months because it was hard for me. It was me who found it hard because I didn't want to think that he was dying, that wasn't the image that I wanted to keep with me forever of Bobby Robson, that wasn't the voice I wanted to hear.”