St. James’ Park was abuzz on Sunday night as 33,000 people turned up at Newcastle’s mecca to celebrate and salute the career of Geordie and English legend, Sir Bobby Robson.
Frail but still exuding his lovable charisma, Sir Bobby was brought onto the pitch in a wheechair before kick-off amid emotional scenes. Robson waved to the crowds before being given a guard of honour, shaking hands with the players and being presented with a UEFA Lifetime Achievement Award. (Watch here.)
The purpose of the match was to raise money for his cancer charity, The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, and in doing so a galaxy of stars turned out for the occasion. Gazza, Peter Shilton, David Platt, Mark Wright, Des Walker, Peter Beardsley and John Barnes were among the Italia ’90 stars on show, while a group of so-called celebrities also appeared including Craig David, Jimmy Nail and Angus Deayton. And for the Germans, legend Lothar Matthaus sat down to pit his whits against Howard Wilkinson in the dug-out.
All too easily Germany raced into a 2-nil lead with early goals from Thomas Helmer and Fredi Bobic. However it wasn’t long before St James’ had something to shout about as former Newcastle United striker Les Ferdinand pulled a goal back and then Alan Thompson scored the goal of the evening with a terrific left-footed free-kick.
The crowd were also entertained by a streaker on the pitch during the first half.
The match was concluded in typical Toon style as the messiah and manager-in-waiting Alan Shearer cracked home a penalty to end a fine evening. Ex-Magpies Peter Beardsley and Paul Gascogine lifted the Sir Bobby Robson Trophy at full-time.
All the goals, except for Ferdinand’s, can be seen on this video.