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Newcastle keeper Harper grateful for having played for Sir Bobby Robson

Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper is delighted the club has recognised Sir Bobby Robson.

The former England boss was fondly remembered at the weekend as the club he managed for five years between 1999 and 2004 unveiled a statue in his memory.

Harper's recollections of Robson are many and colourful.

He said: "Whenever people ask you about Sir Bobby, the first thing you do is smile because you think of the enthusiasm, the love he had for the club, for football in general and for his players.

"He really bought into his players and got the best out of them.

"I remember we played Barcelona at home in pre-season and we were 3-0 down after and hour and he said, 'You are going on, son, you are going on'.

"As I stood there waiting to go on - bearing in mind we were 3-0 down and getting battered - just as I was about to enter the pitch, he said, 'Steve, don't let any more goals in, son, we are getting murdered'.

"We were 3-0 down against Barcelona and I was running on with a smile on my face. That's the way he had of relaxing players and putting them at ease and making them feel comfortable on the big stage.

"He was that type of man, and he is sorely missed."

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Tribal Football Staff

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