Whenever Lady Elsie Robson visits Newcastle, she parks her car near St James’ Park football ground and walks to the statue of her late husband, Sir Bobby.
She admires the likeness of the handsome man she fell for in her teens, stands deep in thought for a moment and then has a chat.
Lady Elsie, 82, says: “I look up at him and say, ‘Hi, what’s it like up there?’.”
It’s nine years since we lost our bestloved football manager and Lady Elsie lost her husband of 54 years but grief can still catch her unawares.
“For a while after Bob died, his face was on buses in the North East. Whenever I passed a double- decker he’d be there, smiling down at me. Sometimes I had to pull over,” she says.
“If I unexpectedly hear Bob’s voice on the TV, I need to sit down.”
Elsie has continued his
Lady Elsie carries on his work
legacy by helping The Bobby Robson Foundation raise more than £12million for cancer research. And every year, she attends the Bobby Robson Golf Classic in Portugal, which has raised €1million for an orphanage in Faro. She feels her late husband – who managed Fulham, Ipswich Town, PSV Eindhoven, Porto, Barcelona, and Newcastle United as well as England – would also be proud of her today for another reason. Elsie explains: “When Bob was alive, I dismissed football in a way because I was busy looking after our family life. “After he died I realised how much I like it and how much I’d learned almost by osmosis. So now, when I sit down to watch Match of the Day, I feel Bob near me and smiling at me.” Elsie and Bobby both grew up in the mining community of Langley Park, County Durham. At village hall dances, Sir Bobby’s feet were as quick as his wit. But something else caught Elsie’s eye. “Bob was a good looking young man and already had great charisma. But I
Getting his knighthood with Elsie and sons Paul and Andrew, 2002 Bobby & Elsie wed in 1955