SIR BOBBY ROBSON, who has died aged 76 after a long battle with cancer, was on Putney Bridge when he heard via the radio he’d been sacked as Fulham boss.
Back in November 1968, the Durham-born Robson was devastated – but it turned out it to be his lucky break.
A Fulham side who had been relegated from the old top-flight First Divison the previous season were going nowhere.
Robson, in contrast, was only at the start of his glittering managerial career that took him to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup with England.
But although Robson only lasted 10 months as Fulham boss, he got the job in the first place on the back of a sparking CV as a player at the Cottage in two spells.
The first came after manager Bill Dodgin forgot the £10-signing on fee when he raced north to capture Robson in October, 1950 – so keen was he to sign the hot prospect as an orthodox inside-forward in the old WM formation.
Such was his progress Robson’s progress alongside Johnny Haynes and Bedford Jezzard, Fulham were unable to resist a £25,000 offer for his services in March, 1956 from West Brom.
It was at The Hawthorns Robson gained the first of his 20 England caps. But it was no surprise when he moved back to Fulham in 1962 for a second-spell – this time as a cultured wing-back for a further five seasons before hanging up his playing boots in May, 1967.
But the notion of becoming a coach had been fostered long before by two former Fulham players, who also went on to great success.
Robson got one foot on the coaching path after listening closely to the ideas of Jimmy Hill and Ron Greenwood.
Ironically, the latter preceded Robson as England boss.
Ever the competitor, the last time the man who became a Geordie folk hero with Newcastle visited the Cottage as a manager, it was for a 2-1 defeat to the Magpies in October, 2003.
Trudging out of the Cottage, Robson told this reporter he had mixed feelings about his return to west London.
He said: "Love the place, love the people – hate the result."
HAVE you any Fulham memories, or even pics of Sir Bobby? Send them to us and we'll publish a selection.