Bryan Robson OBE is an English football manager and a former player. He began his career with West Bromwich Albion in 1972, before moving to Manchester United in 1981, for a record fee; where he became the longest serving captain in the club’s history. Bryan became a United legend and won nearly every domestic honour, and a European trophy; in his thirteen years at Old Trafford.
Bryan showed great leadership qualities and more often than not, led by example; for club and country. The signature surging run from midfield, to grab a late winner; the defence splitting pass; the header most would fear to attempt and above all, the indomitable spirit.
Bryan Robson or ‘Captain Marvel’, as he was christened for his lung bursting efforts, for United and England; summed up the best in sporting endeavour. More’s the pity then that in 90 games for England, the memories come tinged, with a wistful sense of what might have been; had injury so often caused in the line of fire, not cost him so dearly.
Two of his three World Cup campaigns, were cruelly cut short this way. The one he did manage to see through, his first, in Spain in 1982; began with him smashing home a fairy tale goal, after just 27 seconds against France. The first of two strikes, in a 3-1 success in Bilbao. At the time, it was the second fastest goal in the competition’s final stages; but England would exit in the second round despite not losing a game.
In 1986, a dislocated shoulder, suffered in the stalemate against Morocco, ended Robson’s hopes in Mexico. Achilles problems caused his early exit, against the Dutch in Italia ’90. He scored the first of his 26 goals for England, in the 1981 defeat by Norway.
His best goal was probably a spectacular right foot volley, against East Germany; in a friendly in 1984. At his brilliant driving best, Bryan Robson was probably the most complete midfielder of his day; with the vision to dominate in midfield and the tackling skills, honed by playing as a left back in his early days.
After his playing days finished, he went on to manage Middlesbrough; taking them to two cup finals in one season. He went on to mange at Bradford City, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield Utd.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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