Fans stream into St James's for Sir Bobby tributes

HUNDREDS of fans are streaming into St James’s Park to pay their respects to Sir Bobby.

HUNDREDS of fans are streaming into St James’s Park to pay their respects to Sir Bobby.

The club opened the Leazes End to supporters who left flowers, balloons, shirts, scarves and banners at the Sir John Hall statue. The word ``legend“ featured in most of the tributes.

As hundreds at the ground, the club lowered the stadium's flags as a mark of respect.

Many fans described him as ``the greatest Toon manager“.

One Stephen Farrell said: “There are scarves from all over.

“From Boro and Sunderland to Wigan, Barnsley, Besiktas, Barcelona and England.

“There are scarves tied to the railings and flowers being laid all the time”.

Chef Wayne Creed, 28, from High Heaton, Newcastle, brought his wife Emma, 29, son Daniel, 12, and daughter Chloe, eight, to the ground.

He said: ``When Bobby Robson was manager, we were one of the best teams in Europe.

``He is going to be missed by everyone.

``I am sure the Ipswich fans will be feeling the same.”

Student Hannah Marshall, 19, said: ``Today is really sad but it is nice to see everyone coming to pay their respects which shows just how much people really respected him.”

Her friend, Ian Robson, 19, wore a black and white replica shirt with ``Sir Bobby 33 209“ on the back.

He said: ``I have had a season ticket for many years and the best days were when Sir Bobby was manager.

``The club would not be in this state if he was still in charge.”

Meanwhile, a spokeman for one of Sir Bobby’s previous clubs, Ipswich Town, said a book of remembrance would be opening at 3pm today at the club's Centre Spot restaurant.

He also said the team would be wearing black armbands at tonight’s pre-season friendly against Spanish club Real Valladolid and a two-minute silence would take place at the start of the game.

Outside the ground tearful fan Hayley Parker, 32, who works for the club’s ticket office, said: ``I think people will realise what he meant to the club and they will remember what he had achieved. It is just a really sad day.”

Her husband, Justin Parker, who also works for the club, said: ``He is one of the only men in football who has got global respect from everybody. He was a real gentleman.

``I had the pleasure of meeting him one day and I was completely star-struck.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer