Pop Robson

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Pop Robson
Personal information
Full name Bryan Stanley Robson
Date of birth (1945-11-11) 11 November 1945 (age 73)
Place of birth Sunderland, County Durham, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[1]
Playing position Centre forward
Youth career
Clara Vale
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1971 Newcastle United 206 (82)
1971–1974 West Ham United 120 (47)
1974–1976 Sunderland 90 (34)
1976–1979 West Ham United 107 (47)
1979–1981 Sunderland 52 (23)
1981–1982 Carlisle United 48 (21)
1982–1983 Chelsea 15 (3)
1982–1983 Carlisle United (loan) 11 (4)
1983–1984 Sunderland 12 (3)
1984–1985 Carlisle United 13 (1)
1985–1986 Gateshead[2][3] ? (1)
National team
England U23
Teams managed
1984 Sunderland (caretaker)
1985 Carlisle United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Bryan Stanley Robson, better known as Pop Robson (born 11 November 1945[2]) is a former footballer who played for Newcastle United, West Ham United, Sunderland, Chelsea and Carlisle United as a centre forward.[2] Although short in stature, Robson was one of the most prolific goalscorers of his generation, yet was only ever an England Under-23 International, never managing to earn a full England cap.[4]

Playing career

Early career

Born in Sunderland, County Durham, Robson played for Clara Vale in his youth.[2] His first senior club was Newcastle United, and whilst there he won the Second Division title in 1964–65 and the 1969 Fairs Cup, forming a productive partnership with Welshman Wyn Davies.[4]

West Ham United and Sunderland

In February 1971 he became West Ham United's record purchase when he signed for £120,000.[4] He scored on his debut against Nottingham Forest on 24 February 1971. He was West Ham's leading scorer in two of his three seasons at Upton Park.[4]

He made a return to the North-East to join Sunderland in July 1974 for £145,000.[4]

He rejoined West Ham in October 1976. During his two spells at West Ham, he made 254 appearances, scoring 104 goals.[4] He returned to Roker Park in June 1979 for £45,000, and was to eventually play for Sunderland in three separate stints,[2] his goals twice helping them to promotion, as Football League Second Division champions 1976 and runners-up in 1980.[4]

Carlisle and Chelsea

Robson was employed as a player/coach by Carlisle United and Chelsea, and at Sunderland during his third spell there.[4] He even stepped in as caretaker manager for one game during the 1983–84 season before the arrival of Len Ashurst.[4] In 1982 Carlisle managed promotion back to the Second Division with a young Peter Beardsley alongside Robson in attack.

Third spells at Sunderland and Carlisle United

Robson is remembered by the Sunderland fans for the rescue act on the last day of the 1983–84 season at Leicester City. Recalled to lead the front line at the age of 38 years and 182 days, the Bald Assassin scored his last ever goal for Sunderland in a 2–0 win that saved the team from relegation. In his three stays at the club he amassed 174 appearances (10 from the bench) and 67 goals. He also managed the club as caretaker for a single game in 1984 following the sacking of Alan Durban.

He finished his Football League career with a third spell at Carlisle, and in total he made 674 Football League appearances and scored 265 goals.[2] Robson briefly played for non-league Gateshead after leaving Carlisle,[2] scoring one goal during his stint at the club in 1985–86.[3]

Coaching career

After finishing playing with Carlisle he coached at Hartlepool United, Manchester United, Leeds United and finally Sunderland until May 2004.[4] In July 2011, Robson joined his former club Sunderland as the new chief scout.[5] In April 2013, Ellis Short, Sunderland's chairman and owner, sacked Robson along with his entire scouting network.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Bryan Robson. Romford: A&BC. p. 65.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Pop Robson at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database
  3. ^ a b "Unofficial Gateshead Football Club Statistics Database: Players A to Z - 77-78 to 89-90". Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Bryan 'Pop' Robson". The Sunday Sun. 21 January 2007. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2009.
  5. ^ "SAFC name Bryan 'Pop' Robson chief scout". Chronicle Live. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2012.

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