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Shearer pays glowing tribute to a legend

PUBLISHED: 18:08 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:16 06 July 2010

SUPER striker Alan Shearer today paid a glowing tribute to Sir Bobby Robson, who was such a huge hit as manager at both Ipswich Town and Newcastle United, who meet in the Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 5.

SUPER striker Alan Shearer today paid a glowing tribute to Sir Bobby Robson, who was such a huge hit as manager at both Ipswich Town and Newcastle United, who meet in the Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 5.30pm).

Shearer was a free-scoring striker with the Toon and for England, and managed the St James' Park outfit briefly towards the end of last season when they were relegated from the Premier League.

He is now back as a TV pundit with BBC's Match of the Day, and took time out to disclose what an influence Robson, who died in July aged 76, had on his career.

“Before he took over as Newcastle manager I was playing with a grimace on my face,” said Shearer.

“I was on my way out of St James' Park as I wasn't enjoying my football. The previous manager asked me to play with my back to goal in a style that I wasn't enjoying.

“Sir Bobby came in and changed all that. He got me back scoring goals again, got me back playing with a smile on my face.

“It was my privilege to play under him and I learnt so much.

“When you are out of the game you look back at the people who influenced your career and Sir Bobby played a huge part in mine.”

And reflecting on what made Robson so special, Shearer explained: “He could be tough if he needed to be, but he was a gentle person; a honest person and it's not surprised me in any way how deep the strength of feeling has been for him throughout the country - and beyond.

“There was an outcry of emotion after he left us and the scenes at football grounds up and down the country and at Durham Cathedral this week showed you how much he was respected and admired by so many.”

Looking at Ipswich's current position second from bottom in the table, Shearer had some reassuring remarks for concerned Blues followers.

He said: “Ipswich have an enthusiastic manager in Roy Keane, who did a good job at Sunderland in taking them up.

“He may be getting criticism if things have not gone as well as Ipswich would have hoped so far, but that won't affect him because that is the character he is.

“To be honest I've not seen much of Ipswich, but I'm looking forward to an entertaining game.”

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