Playing Position: Midfielder
Height: 5ft 11
Date Of Birth: Jan 11th, 1957
Place Of Birth: Chester-le-Street, Durham, England.
Date Signed: May 1st, 1994
Middlesbrough Shirt Number: ??
Middlesbrough Club Record: 27 games; 1 goal
Bought By: Steve Gibson
Sold By: Player; Retired in 1997 - Staff; Sacked by Steve Gibson on June 5th, 2001.
Transfer Fee In: Free from Manchester United
Transfer Fee out: -
Previous Clubs: West Bromwich Albion (Eng), Manchester United (Eng), Middlesbrough (Eng).
International Honours: 90 Caps for England - 26 Goals, England Full Time Assistant Manager.
with Manchester United - 1994 F.A. Premier League, 1993 F.A. Premier League, 1991 European Cup Winners Cup, 1990 F.A. Cup, 1985 F.A. Cup, 1983 F.A. Cup.
with Middlesbrough F.C - Coca-Cola Cup runners-up (1997-98, 1996-97), FA Cup runners-up (1996-97), Division One runners-up (1997-98), Division One champions (1994-95).
A short, uneventful playing career at Middlesbrough was followed by a the most eventful managerial tenure in recent Middlesbrough history, Bryan Robson is not a man the boro faithful will forget in a hurry.
Captain Marvel - Bryan Robson was the complete midfield player who competed in every game. Capped 90 times for England, he only missed his century through injury. Often criticised for being too brave s injuries became the blight of his career; he couldn't complete the World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990.
Riverside Revolution - In the summer of 1994 the Middlesbrough board got the man they wanted to begin thier plans, Bryan Robson and Viv Anderson took over as Middlesbrough F.C.'s Manager and Assistant Manager. The renowned and respected Bryan Robson shared the ambitions of Chairman Steve Gibson, who could supply Robson with the funds to aquire the type of players only dreamed about at Teesside.
The Rise - Robson's first goal was to bring Boro back into the top flight before the new £16m all-seater stadium, being built at Middlehaven, opened. He began signing in order to make a mid table first divison team into one that was Premier League caliber. Alan Miller, a goal keeper from Arsenal, and a then club record of £1 million for Neil Cox from Aston Villa were the first to arrive. Jan-Aage Fjortoft joined towards the end of the season for a new club record of £1.3 million. Robson succeeded first time out and Middlesbrough moved into their new home, the Cellnet Riverside Stadium, as champions. The opening game saw Craig Hignett christen the goal nets as he drilled the first goal scored at the Cellnet Riverside Stadium past the Chelsea goalkeeper in a 2-1 win. On the transfer front Nick Barmby came in for another club record of £5.25 million and a then unknown Brazilian, Juninho, was signed for £4.75 million. Middlesbrough finished a respectable mid-table.
Watershed Season - In the summer of 1997 Bryan Robson shocked the world by breaking club records and signing Fabrizio Ravanelli, fresh from Champions League success with Juventus for £7 million, and giving him £47,500 a week. On the advice of friend Bobby Robson he also signed Brazilian powerhouse Emerson, both of which would take part in the most spectacular season in Middlesbrough Football Clubs history. The season started out with expectations high and the multi-million pound Teesside outfit only managed to increase them, scoring seemingly at will and firing Middlesbrough into fourth as Christmas neared. But the seeds of disaster had already begun to sprout, Emerson went AWOL for weeks as his mother was ill in Brazil; Ravanelli, bitter at being giving the cold shoulder by Juventus, publically slated Middlesbrough and Robson for their poor training facilities and practices. Boro's defence, still largely the same as the one that finished mid table in division one was straining to keep up with Premier League strikers; everything that could go wrong did. The Middlesbrough squad was hit by a flu which sidelined most of the first team and reserves. Robson didn't have enough players to field a full team against Blackburn that weekend and allegedly with the F.A's concent didn't show up. Boro were docked three points for this and in the replay only managed to draw, we didn't win one point, we lost five. The relegation battle went down to the wire, as the last game of the season, approached one team had already been relegated, Nottingham Forest, and Boro took on Leeds away. Boro needed a win to be certain of survival. Leeds took the lead in the second half but not even a late goal from Juninho could save the Boro. The season had finished a failure.
Trophy Hunting - Middlesbrough fans had accompanied Bryan Robson's men to Wembley twice. The first time was in the Coca Cola cup. After a a fantastic 3-3 draw against unfancied Chesterfield in the semi-final and a replay win Middlesbrough had reached the final against Leicester City. It looked as if Boro were about to claim their first ever major trophy following Fabrizio Ravanelli's goal in the first half of extra time, but just 120 seconds from the final whistle Emile Heskey prodded home an equaliser from the Boro goal line after a goal mouth scramble. The replay was staged at Hillsborough in Sheffield. It again went to extra time but Leicester City scored with a goal from Steve Claridge in the closing moments. Six days after being relegated Middlesbrough played Chelsea in the F.A. Cup Final. They faced Ruud Gullit's Chelsea beneath the twin towers of Wembley, Roberto DiMatteo broke the record for the fastest goal yet scored in an FA Cup final. Forty-three seconds it took for Chelsea to take the lead with a thirty yard drive above Ben Roberts, hitting the underside of the crossbar and then hitting the back of the net. Middlesbrough were shaken, and to be honest didn't really recover and it didn't help when on fifteen minutes Middlesbrough's top scorer and most expensive player Fabrizio Ravanelli limped off the pitch with a recurrence of a hamstring injury. Middlesbrough lost the game 2-0.
Nationwide League - Middlesbrough relegated, the world cup fast approaching and the prospect of first divison footballs minimal exposure led most of Bryan Robson's international stars to consider their options. As the new season began Juninho was the only star who had moved, to Atletico Madrid for £12.5 million. In had come Paul Merson from Arsenal to replace the little Brazilian, Mikkel Beck and Andy Townsend. In August Ravanelli left the club to join Marseille in France for £5.5 million. As the season kicked into gear Boro and Forest were begining to distance themselves from the rest of the league. Robson made certain Boro would be back in the Premier league the following season by adding three strikers who made immediate impacts. First in was Alun Armstrong from Stockport for £1.6 million, followed by Marco Branca from Inter Milan for another £1 million, finally Hamilton Ricard for £2 million. Middlesbrough were promoted and reached a second successive League Cup final. In the weeks before promotion and the final Robson again shocked the world by persuading Paul Gascoigne to sign in £3.45 million move from Glasgow Rangers. Gazza started the game on the subs bench and even though he came on late in the game he couldn't help Middlesbrough as they lost again to Chelsea 2-0 after extra time.
Take Two - Middlesbrough captain Nigel Pearson was forced into retirement as a result of a knee injury at the end of the last season and it was clear to Robson that the Boro defence needed strengthening. Gary Pallister, forsaking his Manchester United testimonial to return to his home town club for £2.5 million. Colin Cooper arrived from Nottingham Forest, also returning home, in a another £2.5 million deal. Robson also splashed out £900,000 on Crystal Palace left back Dean Gordon. The season started well enough but was rocked by Merson's departure due to his difficulties with alcohol and gambling. Ricard and Beck stepped in and helped Boro climb to 4th dismissing any claims they would be fighting relegation. Robson signed Brian Deane for a fee of £3M from Benfica in October 1998. The highlight of the campaign came in December when after going 3-0 up Middlesbrough eventually won 3-2 at Old Trafford against the team about to go on and win the Premier League, FA Cup, and the Champions League, Manchester United. The result Bernie Slaven's arse all over the papers. Talk of Europe came but went rather quickly as Boro followed this impressive feat by going on a run of 9 games without a win, by March 1999 Boro looked a possibility for relegation. Boro however finished the campaign with an outstanding run ending relegation fears once more and finishing 9th. In the close season Robson went shopping, Robbie Keane was the first to almost sign, the 19-year old Irish wonderkid from Wolves. At £6 million he would be the most expensive teenager in Britain if he moved. However, although having a £6 million bid accepted by Wolves, Keane and his representatives stalled over the deal, and Robson pulled the plug after hearing Keane's wage demands, next was Oleg Luzhny who joined Arsenal for £1.5 million. Robson did get his men though in the form of Paul Ince at a cut price £1 million and German international Christian Ziege for £4 million from AC Milan.
Juninho's Back - Robson and Middlesbrough again started their second season in the top flight this time with a little more experience. Middlesbrough started the season well again and added a few more players, Carlos Arturo Marinelli arrived for £1.5 million as a 17 year old, as did Keith O'Neil and Juninho was back for a second attempt at the Riverside in a loan deal. Initially he had been refused a work permit after agreeing a short-term contract but was given one as a special case, Ibrahim Ba was not. Juninho proved to be a little disappointing but after a few games on the bench appeared to be a new man. His best game came against Manchester United as Boro tried to repeat last years win, they lost 4-3 in a brilliant game after going 1-0 up. Robson went insane and didn't sign Juninho during the close season as Boro finished mid table.
The End - Robson let Gascoigne go and Middlesbrough's Player of the Year Zeige left in questionable circumstances for Liverpool £5.5 million. Hasselbaink was linked but joined Chelsea, the big signings were Karembeu, Okon, Boksic, Whelan, Job and Ehiogu who all signed for a little under 20 million pounds but Middlesbrough looked worse than the season before as Robsons tactical ineptitude started to show. Things started well once more with an opening day win against Coventry City but injuries and the absence of a home win in 5 months had Boro filtering with relegation again. The season was characterised by Ugo Ehiogu signed for a Boro record 8 million pounds, 7 minutes and two touches later he's out for 6 weeks, that makes him the worlds most expensive player in pounds per minute of play!!!. Venables formed a largely successful partnership with Bryan Robson in the mid-nineties when the pair worked together at England level. It was this friendship and proven track record that convinced 'Boro chairman Steve Gibson to reunite the pair when it became clear that his team's Premiership status was looking increasingly fragile. Venables managed to transform the backline and keep Boro up, barely. Ten games unbeaten with wins against Leeds and Chelsea were enough to prove to anyone El Tel still had it but Gibson was unable to sign him permenatly as he had T.V. responsibilities. Games To Remember: Newcastle 1 - 3 Middlesbrough (away), Arsenal 0 - 3 Middlesbrough (away). Gibson knew Robbo had taken Boro as far as he could and that the team needed someone else so in came England assistant manager, Manchester United number two, the UK's most promising coaching prospect and all around nice guy Steve McClaren, and out went Bryan Robson.
Thank You's - Middlesbrough were lucky to be a yo-yo team before Gibson and Robson stepped in, they managed to take a little team from nowhere and transfrom them into the most exciting football club in English football. One that fights for the best players the world has to offer and occasionaly shocks Europes best teams. Boro fans are truly indebted to Bryan Robson, he has earned his place in the Middlesbrough Hall of Fame. Thank You Robbo.