Famed coach Sir Bobby Robson died during the early hours of Friday morning after losing his protracted cancer battle. The 76-year-old fought the disease for the best part of two decades, but recently admitted that his lung cancer was going to be the likely victor.
He said last year, "My condition is described as static and has not altered since my last bout of chemotherapy... I am going to die sooner rather than later. But then everyone has to go sometime and I have enjoyed every minute."
The legendary trainer is widely considered to be a gentleman of the sport, and originally made his name as a deep-lying forward during the 1950's when he represented west London club Fulham. He bragged a promising strike-rate and transferred to West Bromwich Albion during the middle of the decade, before returning to the Cottagers in 1962.
He turned to management in 1968, representing Fulham, Ipswich - where he helped the team excel, England - where he gave the nation the greatest hope of glory since 1966, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto, Barcelona, and Newcastle United.
With Ipswich, he took an undesired outfit into a period of sustained success that saw Town pick up two League runner-up medals, an FA Cup winners medal, and an UEFA Cup winners medal. His exploits with the Tractor Boys earned him the Three Lions post, where he was to famously end up branding Diego Maradona a "rascal" for his hand-of-God goal, and four years later he consoled Paul Gascoigne following an unsuccessful penalty shoot-out in the semi-final of Italia '90.
He won two Dutch titles with PSV, championships with Porto, and a European Cup Winners Cup with Barca.
The Bobby Robson Foundation was set up on March 2008 after he was diagnosed with cancer for the fifth time. He had defeated the disease in the early 1990's, when he contracted bowel cancer, and a malignant melanoma.
Despite his deteriorating condition, he still travelled to see his beloved football clubs in the north-east, and could often be found - sporting a hat and in good spirits - cheering on teams such as Newcastle United.
His passion for the game endeared him to millions.
Alan Dawson, Goal.com