The news of the death of Bobby Robson, probably the best English football manager of his generation and a good, but not perfect, human being has saddened me. As the manager of my home town team, Ipswich Town, he had a decade of achievement in the English league and european competition. His service there was at the time I and my friends were at various universities and colleges.
Each vacation we used to reunite in a local park to have a kick around most mornings we hadn't got anything better to do. Jumpers for goal posts. Rain, snow, sun - didn't matter.
Bobby Robson lived not very far from the park and it was said that he often walked his dog there. For obvious reasons we weren't much in favour of people who walked their dogs where we played. Well, it would have been OK if walking was all the dogs did. But we made an exception in our minds for Bobby Robson.
There was always this hope that one day he would walk past with his dog and be so impressed with my football skills that he'd sign me up for Ipswich Town there and then. If he'd have valued all of us, the world would have lost a teacher, head teacher, university researcher etc and whatever it was that I became and instead we would have been bright shining stars of the football firmament.
But we were never spotted. Like Godot he never passed by.
Just as well really. He would have smiled our passion for the game but laughed at my delusions - as I did in rare moments of honesty.