BREAKING NEWS: Former England Manager Sir Bobby Robson Dies

Daniel PuseljCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2009

2 Sep 1999:  Bobby Robson is announced as the new Newcastle United manager at a press conference at St James Park in Newcastle, England.  \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson has died at age 76 after losing his long running battle with cancer.

This was the fifth time he contracted the disease.

A statement was issued on behalf of his family:

"It is with great sadness that it has been announced today that Sir Bobby Robson has lost his long and courageous battle with cancer.

"He died very peacefully this morning at his home in County Durham with his wife and family beside him.

"Sir Bobby's funeral will be private and for family members only.

"A thanksgiving service in celebration of Sir Bobby's life will be held at a later date for his many friends and colleagues.

"Lady Robson and the family would very much appreciate it if their privacy could be respected at this difficult time.''

Sir Bobby Robson played for Fulham and West Brom during the 1950s and 1960s. After his playing career, he went on to manage Fulham, Ipswich, PSV, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona, and Newcastle United.

On Sunday, Sir Bobby Robson attended a charity match in his honour at St James' Park. The event attracted a crowd of more than 30,000 fans.

Paul Gascoigne, who played under Robson for England, paid tribute to his former mentor following that match, saying, "Sir Bobby is a legend over the world. He was the one who gave me my first run-out for the England team.

"When I saw him it was quite heartbreaking to see him that way but he is battling away and keeping on top of it, which is great. He's battling cancer for the fifth time. It takes a man to beat it once but he's doing it for a fifth time. That's the man he is, he won't give in."

I too would like to pay my deepest respects to Sir Bobby Robson and his family. All I can say is rest in peace Sir Bobby Robson, forever you will be missed.