Bryan Robson Profile
Bryan Robson, born Chester-le-Street, England, January 11, 1957. Bryan Robson had a remarkable success during his spell with Manchester United and occupies his very own position in the history of the club. A footballing institution, the midfielder also played 90 matches for England under managers Ron Greenwood, Bobby Robson, and Graham Taylor during an international career spanning eleven years.
Bryan Robson had trials at Burnley, Coventry City, Sheffield Wednesday, and Newcastle United before he signed as an apprentice with West Bromwich Albion in September 1972. He made his first team debut for West Bromwich in a 3-1 Second Division triumph over York City at Bootham Crescent on the 12th of April 1975 and helped The Baggies win promotion to Division One in 1975-76. Unfortunately, he broke his left leg in a 4-2 win against Spurs at The Hawthorns on the 2nd of October 1976, and he was sidelined for almost three months. After returning to the first team, he scored his first hat-trick for West Brom in a 4-0 triumph over Ipswich Town at The Hawthorns on the 16th of March 1977, but then he broke his right ankle in a 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester City on the 16th of the following month. While with Albion, Robbo was an important cog in the team that reached the FA Cup Semi-Finals in 1978, and finished in third place in the top-flight table the following year. When West Brom gaffer Ron Atkinson left to take over the reigns at Manchester United at the end of the 1980-81 season, Robson followed The Hawthorns boss to Old Trafford. He was given his debut for United in a 1-0 League Cup Second Round First Leg defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on the 7th of October 1981, and made his First Division debut for the club in a 0-0 draw against neighbouring rivals Manchester City at Maine Road three days later. His first Division One goal for Manchester United arrived in a dominating 5-1 victory over Sunderland at Roker Park on the 7th of the following month, and he immediately established himself in the first team, making 35 appearances in all competitions in his first campaign at Old Trafford.
Robson was a vital member of the Manchester United team which brought home the FA Cup to Manchester in 1983 after outclassing newly relegated Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0 in the replay at Wembley Stadium where he scored a brace, and he also helped the club to their sixth FA Cup triumph when they defeated already crowned First Division Champions Everton 1-0 in the final in 1985, with Northern Ireland international Norman Whiteside hitting the winner in the 110th minute of the tussle. After Ron Atkinson was handed the sack by the Manchester United board partly into the 1986-87 season, Robson continued to give outstanding performances under the sound and strong leadership of new manager Alex Ferguson who had arrived from Scottish FA Cup and Scottish League Cup holders Aberdeen. Consistently possessing the necessary competitive imperative, the energetic midfielder was an admired and respected leader among his peers who led his Manchester United teammates to win two Premier League titles and three FA Cups, as well as the European Cup Winners´ Cup. Arguably, he played his best match for United in the 3-0 European Cup Winners’ Cup Quarter Final Second Leg win against Cesar Luis Menotti´s Barcelona at Old Trafford on the 21st of March of 1984 when he dominated midfield and recorded two of the goals. Atkinson’s United had been defeated by 2-0 by Barca in the first leg at Nou Camp a fortnight earlier, and few people thought they would progress to the semi-finals of the competition, but after 22 minutes of action Robson netted the first goal of the game as he headed home a corner by Ray Wilkins, and then scored his second with a close range effort in the 50th minute before Frank Stapleton registered the final goal shortly afterwards to make it 3-2 on aggregate for the hosts.
Another memorable game was the controversial and dramatic 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on the 4th of April 1988 where he registered a brace either side of the the break. Robson provided Manchester United with an early 1-0 advantage when he clinically finished off a counter-attack by slotting past Liverpool shot stopper Bruce Grobbelaar in the third minute, but goals from Peter Beardsley and Gary Gillespie in the 38th and 41st minutes turned the derby match on it’s head. Steve McMahon added a third goal for Liverpool on 46 minutes, and to make things even more difficult for Manchester United Colin Gibson was sent off by referee John Key of Rotherham on the hour mark. But despite being down to ten men, the visitors staged an amazing comeback with Robson reducing the deficit in the 66th minute and eleven minutes later Gordon Strachan hit an equaliser to make it 3-3. Robson was the captain of Manchester United for more than a decade and made a total of 461 first-team appearances for The Reds before he joined Middlesbrough as a player-manager at the beginning of the 1994-95 campaign, taking The Smoggies to promotion to the Premier League in his first year in charge. He then had a short managerial stint at second tier club Bradford City before he was offered the hot seat at former employers West Bromwich Albion in the middle of the 2004-05 term. After leaving the Black Country side by mutual consent partly into the 2006-07 season, he took the managerial helm at Championship outfit Sheffield United in the summer of 2007. He returned to Manchester United to work as a club ambassador the following year, however, and later spent two years as coach of the Thailand national team.
Robson managed to accumulate 90 full caps for England and represented his native country in the FIFA World Cup in 1982, 1986, and 1990. Following a series of excellent performances at club level, he was handed his international debut for The Three Lions by former West Ham United supremo Ron Greenwood in a 2-0 European Championship Qualifier victory against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley Stadium on the 6th of February 1980, aged 23 years and 25 days. He registered his first goal for his homeland when he found the back of the net following 15 minutes of play in a 2-1 World Cup Qualifier defeat against Norway at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo on the 9th of September 1981, and he netted one of the fastest goals in World Cup history as he hammered home after just twenty-seven seconds of action in a 3-1 triumph over France at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao on the 16th of June 1982. He was made captain for the first time in a 3-0 European Championship Qualifier win against Greece at Kaftanzoglio Stadium in Salonika on the 17th of November the same year, and went on to skipper the team 65 times. Bryan Robson would make his final appearance for his nation in a 1-0 European Championship Qualifier victory over Turkey at Wembley on the 16th of October 1991, aged 34 years and 276 days. Bryan Robson Playing Career: West Bromwich Albion, Manchester United, Middlesbrough. Managing Career: Middlesbrough, Bradford City, West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United.