Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sir Bobby's Junior Team Resurrected in Village

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sir Bobby's Junior Team Resurrected in Village

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Proctor Reporter kate.proctor@ncjmedia.co.uk

SIR Bobby Robson's junior football team has been relaunched with the blessing of his family.

Langley Park Hotspur FC will breathe new life into the village football pitch on which the career of the late Sir Bobby began.

The former Newcastle United and England manager played in the village team with his brother Ronnie during the 1940s but for the past 20 years youngsters have had to head elsewhere to get a game.

Now a sportsman and a team of parent volunteers have relaunched the club, with Sir Bobby's widow Lady Elsie officially unveiling the new side.

And to coincide with the new squad, old photographs and letters from his time at the club have been collected by his now eld-erly former team mates.

Father-of-three Anthony Johnson, an ice hockey player who previously trained with Alan Shearer in the youth squad of Southampton FC, said: "It's been 20 years since the last junior football club played in the village.

"We've called our new team the Langley Park Hotspur FC which was the name of the senior squad that Bobby would have played for had he not signed for Fulham.

"Lady Elsie has been so supportive and there's a lot of people who are friends of the family who have all said how happy they are the team is back up and running again," said Mr Johnson, who lives at Langley Park in County Durham and is the new club's chairman.

On Saturday a family fun day at the village's Sports and Social Club officially launched the new teams and the young players put their skills into action with games for under 10s, 12s and 13s.

Lady Elsie said it gave her great pleasure to see Bobby's very first club playing on the Langley Park pitch once again.

A collection of memorabilia has also been put together for a display at the clubhouse by Mr Johnson which includes pictures of Sir Bobby in his junior days that have never been seen before.

"There's a new team photo from when he was playing when he was around 14 and 15 years old. Older chaps have brought letters and pictures down which have never been made public at all before and they are quite unique," said Mr Johnson, who played ice hockey for the Newcastle Vipers, Cobras and Durham Wasps after being released aged 16 from Southampton. …

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