The tao of Sir Bobby Robson, More Than A Manager
There has been a golden age of documentaries in recent years: Making A Murderer, Blackfish and the Oscar-winning OJ: Made In America to name but three.
If you’re after something a little less bleak and a lot more heart-warming, then Bobby Robson: More Than A Manager will have you blubbing like it’s 1990 all over again.
If you’re not a football fan, Robson was the avuncular football manager who took England to the World Cup semi-final at Italy 1990, enjoyed phenomenal success with the likes of Ipswich Town, PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona (he was named Uefa Coach Of The Year upon winning three trophies with the Catalan behemoths) and, crucially, touched the lives of millions through his compassion, humility, decency and, above all, almost childlike enthusiasm.
This was a man who made the beautiful game that much more beautiful. More Than A Manager is an inspirational piece of work that will remind you to be a little more generous of spirit, a little more understanding and – if you’re like us – a good deal more emotional upon watching it.
Whether Robson was putting an arm around the shoulder of a crying Paul Gascoigne, stopping training with PSV Eindhoven to remind them how wonderful life was or cracking a joke in the face of adversity in his final years, everything was done with both heart and soul.
The film is packed with revealing footage of the great man, while luminaries such as Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Gary Lineker, Gascoigne, Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo and more share touching stories about Sir Bobby to paint a vivid picture of a beloved figure. The Balance team is still dabbing its collective eye at a special film that will make you laugh one minute, and have you sobbing into a pillow the next.
To celebrate More Than A Manager, we at BALANCE hand pick some of our favourite Sir Bobby moments to pay tribute to a beautiful mind…
1) Consoling Paul Gascoigne at World Cup 90: England’s rising star is inconsolable in the semi-final against West Germany. While most managers would be fretting about the impending penalty shoot-out, Robson takes Gascoigne to one side to reassure him that he has his “whole career ahead of him”. We rolled a tear at this.
2) “That” dance against Belgium: This is pure Robson. England have just snatched a last-gasp winner against Belgium at World Cup 1990 and Robson’s reaction is the very essence of the man. Heart and soul.
3) The impact on Barcelona: Then-manager Luis Enrique details the impact his former boss has had on the Catalan giants.
4) The Ipswich years: Poignant 30-minute documentary chronicling Robson’s final year with Ipswich. The access is a treat. Sir Bobby on a ride-on lawnmower anyone? Yes please.
5) Lineker and Ferguson hail a hero: Although Robson had been unwell for some time with cancer returning time and again towards the end of his life, his passing still shook the football world. Tributes from both Lineker and Ferguson went some way to salving the wounds of a football-loving public.