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24th Dec 2015

Jermain Jenas shares an amusing Christmas tale about Sir Bobby Robson from his Newcastle days

Classic Sir Bobby

Simon Lloyd

Jermain Jenas has been reflecting on a time when he and his former Newcastle United team mates – all dressed as super heroes – crashed a black-tie Christmas celebration for the club’s directors.

It came in 2002, when Sir Bobby Robson was the boss at St. James Park, and his reaction is exactly what you’d expect of the great man.

‘The best Christmas party I have been to as a footballer was the first one I had at Newcastle in 2002, when Sir Bobby Robson was manager,’ Jenas writes in his column for BBC Sport.

‘All the players had gone out in fancy dress to the Quayside in the city centre – I was Superman, Carl Cort was Batman and Kieron Dyer was Austin Powers.

‘Then we found out that the club’s directors were having their own party at St James’ Park – a black-tie do with their wives.

‘We decided we would gate-crash it, so we all piled into taxis to the stadium, ran upstairs and burst through the doors.

‘It was a bit surreal. We were all running about this posh dinner and ball dressed as superheroes, then found Sir Bobby, said ‘all right, gaffer’ and sat at his table. Someone had his pint.

‘He just looked at us and said: ‘Right, have one drink and get the hell out of here’.

‘Nobody ever had a go at us for it. Even the next day Sir Bobby just laughed about it and said “you lot are a nightmare”.’

Olympique De Marseille v Newcastle United

Jenas adds that his former manager, who died in 2009, was keen for his players to enjoy themselves.

‘Sir Bobby was always a big believer in the players enjoying themselves and building team spirit.

‘On the day I signed for Newcastle I was sitting in the boardroom with him and the then chairman Freddy Shepherd, and he told the chairman’s son to take me out that night.’

There’s certainly very few managers left in football that are anything like Sir Bobby.