Newcastle honour Robson with statue at St James' Park

By Mike Collett

LONDON, May 6 (Reuters) - A statue of former Newcastle United manager Bobby Robson was unveiled at St James' Park on Sunday close to where he used to queue to get into the ground with his father when he was a young supporter of the club.

It is the second statute to Robson's memory in England after one was erected at Ipswich Town's Portman Road ground in 2002 to honour his achievements with that club.

Robson, who was Newcastle's manager from 1999 until 2004, died aged 76 in 2009 and the 2.73-metre statue was unveiled by his widow Elsie with current manager Alan Pardew and many former players at the ceremony.

"It is very fitting that there will be a tribute to Bob outside Newcastle United's ground. This is where his love of football began," Elsie Robson said.

"As a boy he's come here with his dad and he likely queued to get into the ground where the statue is sited. My husband's career took him all over the world but he was always a Newcastle fan at heart."

Newcastle have the chance of finishing in the top four of the Premier League for the first time since Robson managed the club and they finish their league campaign with a home match against Manchester City on Sunday and at Everton next week.

Robson, who was knighted in 2002, also coached England, Fulham, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona. (Editing by Clare Fallon)