Lineker leads Robson tributes

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Former England striker Gary Lineker led the tributes to Sir Bobby Robson as football said goodbye to one of the game's favourite sons at Durham Cathedral.

Among the 1,000 guests were Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, England boss Fabio Capello and the president of Barcelona, the current European champions, Joan Laporta. Paul Gascoigne, who famously wept during the 1990 World Cup semi-final, looked emotional throughout the service and sat by former team-mate Lineker who was one of four people who read a eulogy.

"He was everything that was good about the game," Lineker said of Robson.

Former England managers spotted included Steve McClaren, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Graham Taylor, Howard Wilkinson and Peter Taylor.

Lineker added: "He loved the game and the game loved him. He was a lion of a man. No, make that 'three lions'. Sir Bobby Robson, we will miss you but we will never, ever forget you."

Ferguson spoke about Sir Bobby's time at Newcastle, where he restored Geordie pride on his return from success throughout Europe in the 1990s.

The Manchester United manager seemed still angry that his friend had been forced to leave the job he loved.

"A man like that could have gone on and on," he said.

"It has been one of the privileges of my life to have met him and to have been enthused by him. He influenced me then and he's always influenced me."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Gary Lineker
League One
Paul Gascoigne
Manchester United
Bobby Charlton
Charlton Athletic

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