Bobby Robson: One-on-One

Is it true that you lost your place in England’s 1962 World Cup team to a young Bobby Moore? Did you know then he’d go on to achieve what he did?
Steve Cook, Knebworth
I hurt my ankle in training and Bobby came in for me and went on to play what, 107 times? We all knew that Bobby had potential. He was a good-looking boy with all that blond hair and had something about him. He came in and just grew and grew as a player, and what a player. If you’re going to lose your place to anybody, why not Bobby Moore?

At Fulham, did you feel like a Londoner and could you understand the Cockney accent?
Andy Ladd, Bletchley
I adapted as you had to do. It was very different to the North East but I settled in well. I never picked up the real Cockney accent, all that apple and stairs stuff, but I could understand them. I grew very fond of the Cockneys though and I like London very much. I spent several parts of my life in the area, and lived and worked there for eight years as England manager. Add that to my time at Fulham as player and manager and that’s 20 years of my life in the capital, so I love it down there.

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Gary Parkinson is a freelance writer, editor, trainer, muso, singer, actor and coach. He spent 14 years at FourFourTwo as the Global Digital Editor and continues to regularly contribute to the magazine and website, including major features on Euro 96, Subbuteo, Robert Maxwell and the inside story of Liverpool's 1990 title win. He is also a Bolton Wanderers fan.