Quotes on: Bryan Robson


“An influential person in the dressing room, well-liked by the players, a great captain, and courage? Well, three broken legs, a broken collarbone, a hundred and one hamstring injuries, ankle injuries, and still played till 37 years of age! So that tells you something about the man. Oh, fantastic.”
Sir Alex Ferguson 

“He had good control, was a decisive tackler, passed the ball well and his combination of stamina and perceptive reading of movement enabled him to make sudden and deadly infiltrations from midfield into the opposition’s box.”
 Sir Alex Ferguson 

“When assessing him, people ask, ‘What’s his greatest strength?’ Well, I think it’s his courage, his ability to score goals as a midfield player in the modern game, that make him outstanding itself. But he has a quality that you can’t coach in players, really, and that is timing. When two players go up for a ball in the air, a red jersey and another jersey, Bryan knows where it’s going to land. When a ball is coming to the back post, he knows he has got to be there. At the front post, when we’re attacking, he knows he has to be there. He just has this talent to time things, and be in the right place at the right time. That, apart from the courage and the influence he has in our team, makes it a great experience to have him as a player.”
— Sir Alex Ferguson

“I told Martin Edwards (then Manchester United chairman) when he signed Bryan Robson: ‘It’s not even a risk. He’s solid gold.’”
— Ron Atkinson

“When Robson plays football, he must expect to get hurt, because that’s him. When he sees a ball, irrespective of where it is on a football field, he automatically goes for it. Afterwards, he sometimes says, ‘I don’t really know why I went for it.’ And he’ll be asking that when he’s lying in the treatment room. But that is Robson, and that is the end of the story with him.”
— Brian Clough

“He was the most incredible skipper. Off the pitch if there was anything – however small – that needed doing he would see to it on behalf of the team. On the pitch, he would walk through walls for us and could win games on his own.”
– Peter Beardsley

“He was another hero of mine. I was in awe of Bryan Robson, even when I played alongside him! Without his injuries, he would’ve been in everybody’s best XI ever, because he do everything: he could get up and down, he could defend, he could pass, he could score goals.”
– Gary Lineker

“I remember playing against him for Leicester when I was in my early 20s, and Gordon Milne (manager) said was doing the organization for the corners before the game, and said ‘Gary, I want you to mark Bryan Robson.’
I said, ‘You want me to mark Bryan Robson?’
He said ‘It’s okay, we’ve watched him, he’s been hanging about just outside the box waiting for knock-downs. Just pick him up.’
I thought ‘He’s not going to be hanging about when he sees I’m marking him!’
Which was absolutely true.
We came out, and they had a corner after about 10 minutes. There he was, as he said, on the edge of the box, so I wandered over and stood next to him.
He asked ‘What’re you doing?’ I said ‘I’m, well, I’m marking you.’
‘Oh really?’
Needless to say, he didn’t stand around; went straight into the box, and boom! header, just over the bar, and I was splattered on the floor.
Fifteen minutes later, another corner. There he is, edge of the box, I’m standing next to him.
‘Still here?’ he asked. ‘I was told you’d hang around on the edge of the box.’
‘Yeah right!’
The ball came in, boom, I went in the back of the net, the ball went in the back of the net, and Bryan Robson went off celebrating.”
— Gary Lineker

“An inspirational footballer. If he hadn’t had the injuries that he did, I think he would have eclipsed all records for midfielder players in appearances for England, and I think England might have won something.”
– Gary Lineker

 “[ . . . ] he’d be all over the pitch, terrorising the opposition’s defence, menacing the midfield and smacking in goals. Bryan could do anything, he was Captain Courageous, and bloomin’ hell, he would often win games on his own.”
– Lou Macari

“I got in the England squad and it was almost like hero worship with this fella. He carried England in the ’80s in my opinion. He could run further than anyone, he was the best player, he was all-action. The one commodity he had – he was unselfish. He put the rest of the group before himself – that’s the sign of a great player.”
– Stuart Pearce

“The greatest compliment I can pay Paul Scholes is that he reminds me of Bryan Robson, the way he bombs into the box. But there was no one better at it than Robbo. He was the original action man, he used to throw himself into challenges, cover every inch of the pitch and then pop up in the box to score a goal. A truly wonderful player.”
– Ray Wilkins

“From box to box, he was absolutely unbelievable. He had an engine that was second to none, and was aggressive in the middle of the pitch.”
– Ray Wilkins

“As a midfield player, Robson had everything – goals, passing, tackling, and a remarkable work-rate. Captain Marvel for Manchester United and England and a true leader who was brave to a fault, injuries prevented him from reaching a deserved century of England caps. The outstanding British footballer of the 1980s who stuck around to inspire United’s re-emergence as England’s top club side under Sir Alex Ferguson. His namesake Bobby Robson swore by him during eight years in charge of the national team, and judges don’t come any shrewder than Bobby and Fergie.”
– Jimmy Greaves

“A lot of people think of Captain Courageous, and he was brave and committed, but Bryan scored goals and his passing was very underrated. Brilliant at timing his runs into the box. When the going got tough, he’d be there. He’d let his players know if they weren’t doing their jobs and his will to win was way above most.”
– Chris Waddle

“[ . . .] he was an inspirational leader. I was playing up at Old Trafford one year and he ran the show in that number seven shirt, steamrolling our midfield into submission. He was certainly the engine behind that United team.”
– Matt Le Tissier

“Robson was my idol [ . . . ]. He epitomised everything I thought a United player should be. He flogged himself to the end of every game and gave blood, sweat and tears. He was a true leader. When he burst into the box, it was like his life depended on it. You could see it in his face and his running style. Everything was a fight and a battle.”
 Gary Neville
(from his autobiography “Red”)

“He was the ultimate midfielder. He got everywhere, scored goals and was a leader. He didn’t give you a second on the ball. If you got it, you knew Bryan would get stuck in to you.”
Paul Gascoigne

“My favourite player of all time. [ . . .]  I always remember when he used to play for West Brom and he had that curly daft hair and I remember him running from box-to-box and he scored a header from about 18 yards out. For someone to come back from three broken legs and still play the way he played was phenomenal… captain of England. [ . . .]  The guy was phenomenal and everyone looked up to him as a player, a great bloke. He is a one-off. [ . . . ] One of the greatest players of all time, for me. If I’d had end-to-end stuff like him, I like to think I’d have been even better.”
– Paul Gascoigne


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