Sir Bobby Robson
Years at United: 1999-2004
A gentleman who transcended football, Sir Bobby Robson was one of the game's greatest managers and one of the North East's favourite sons.
Knighted in 2002 for services to football, Sir Bobby brought a cultured brand of football to Newcastle borne of his long years in charge of some of the world's biggest clubs and the England team.
An inside forward as a player, he represented Fulham and West Brom before eventually becoming the Cottagers' manager in 1968.
Moving to East Anglia a year later, he transformed Ipswich Town from a second division side to FA Cup winners in 1978 and UEFA Cup winners in 1981, becoming England manager shortly afterwards.
After leading England to the semi-finals of World Cup Italia '90, he took charge of some of the world's top overseas clubs - including PSV Eindhoven - twice, Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto and FC Barcelona.
He arrived at St. James’ Park early in the 1999/00 season as the answer to a crisis following the team’s poor start to the campaign under Ruud Gullit.
His impact was immediate; United ending a home goal drought by demolishing Sheffield Wednesday 8-0 at St. James' Park - Alan Shearer scoring five of the goals.
After ending that and the following season in mid-table, Sir Bobby led Newcastle to fourth-placed finish and qualified for the Champions League.
Incredibly, in the 2002/03 campaign, United qualified for the second group stage despite losing the first three Phase One group matches – the first team ever to do so.
Sir Bobby guided the Magpies to third place in the Premier League that season but the failure to get past Partizan Belgrade in the 2003/04 Champions League qualifier was a major setback.
A fifth-placed finish 2003/04 brought Newcastle a UEFA Cup place, but after a poor start to the following campaign, and with no Champions League football, Sir Bobby's managerial reign came to an end.
Sir Bobby sadly passed away in 2009 after bravely battling cancer for the fifth time and today, his legacy lives on though the cancer charity he helped to form - the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
A statue of Sir Bobby now stands at the South West corner of St. James' Park, while a bronze bust of the great man is located in the players and officials' entrance at the stadium.
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