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Practice makes permanent

Footballer Bobby Robson not only played for England, but as a football manager led the national team very close to a second World Cup victory.

The son of a Durham miner, Bobby’s professional career began in the 1950s, when promising young players still had to learn a trade. As his football career developed his dad insisted he also train as an electrician, until his professional career really took off.

Bobby, who most famously played for Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, played for England in the 1962 World Cup Squad. After sustaining an injury, Bobby’s future international playing hopes were dashed, but as England manager, a career high came during the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

Robson led England all the way to the World Cup semi-finals. It was a summer to be remembered for many things: Gazza’s tears, Pavarotti’s music and ultimately, penalty shoot outs.

If Bobby wasn’t quite able to take England all the way to the finals, he certainly came very close indeed. Largely in recognition of this, he was knighted in 2002.

Paying tribute when Sir Bobby died, Gary Lineker said: “I never played for a more enthusiastic man. He gave so much to the game.”