A 20-year-old Roberts was just making his way up the footballing ladder at League One Bristol Rovers in 1999 when Zamora joined him at the Pirates as a trainee.
Roberts told the Lancashire Telegraph: “It was really strange at Bristol Rovers. We had Barry Hayles, myself, Jamie Cureton, Nathan Ellington and Bobby all coming up at the same time. It was tough and I think we did stint his development a bit.
“Obviously it hasn’t harmed him too much since though.
“It was obvious he had a lot of talent but he never got enough game time to show what he could do at Bristol Rovers. He got loaned out, came back then got sold. In the reserves him and Nathan Ellington used to take people apart and it was always cool to have those boys around.
“It means a lot more to me having made my way up the divisions and earned my stripes at every level. At every level people doubted whether I could make the other step but here I am playing in the Premier League and I have been playing here for a long time.
“The same with Bobby, he has done it at every level and done it the hard way. He has had people all the way through asking the same questions, can he step up again and he always has.
“I am really proud of what Bobby and I have achieved since those days together and I am sure he has many years left in the Premier League.”