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Pop Robson
Personal information
Full name Bryan Stanley Robson
Date of birth 11 November 1945 (1945-11-11) (age 64)
Place of birth Sunderland, England
Playing position Centre forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1971 Newcastle United 206 (82)
1971–1974 West Ham United 120 (47)
1974–1976 Sunderland 090 (34)
1976–1979 West Ham United 107 (47)
1979–1981 Sunderland 052 (23)
1981–1982 Carlisle United 048 (21)
1982–1983 Chelsea 015 0(3)
1982–1983 Carlisle United (loan) 011 0(4)
1983–1984 Sunderland 012 0(3)
1984 Carlisle United 013 0(1)
Teams managed
1984 Sunderland
1985 Carlisle United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Bryan Stanley Robson, better known as Pop Robson (born 11 November 1945) is a former much-travelled footballer, playing for Newcastle United, West Ham United, Sunderland, Chelsea and Carlisle United as a centre forward. Although diminutive, Pop 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.[1]


Born in Sunderland, Robson played for Clara Vale in his youth. 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.

In February 1971 he became West Ham's record purchase when he signed for £120,000.[1] 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, winning Hammer of the Year when West Ham finished 6th in the First Division in 1972-73.

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

He rejoined West Ham in October 1976, coming Runner-Up to Alan Devonshire as Hammer of the Year in the 1978-79 season. During his two spells at West Ham, he made 254 appearances, scoring 104 goals.[1]

He returned to Roker Park in June 1979 for £45,000, and was to go on to play for Sunderland on three separate occasions, his goals twice helping them to promotion, as Division 2 Champions 1976 and Runners Up in 1980.[1]

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

Robson is perhaps most fondly remembered by the Sunderland fans for the great rescue act on the last day of the 1983-84 season at Leicester. Recalled to lead the front line at the ripe old 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 playing days at Carlisle with a career that saw him make a total of 674 appearances and score 265 goals, he also had a spell managing the club in 1985.


Coaching career

After his playing career finished he went into coaching, becoming assistant manager to Bobby Moncur at Hartlepool United. He was later a coach at Manchester United, before becoming youth team coach at Sunderland.

He left them in July 2000 to join Brian Kidd's team of coaches at Leeds United. He was appointed Assistant Youth Academy Coach in charge of the development of the Under-17's in July 2000, and the following season he stepped up to coach the Under-19's. He remained in the job until May 2004, when he left after Kevin Blackwell took charge of the first team.

He went on to scout for Birmingham City.

In the October 2004 issue of EX, a retro magazine dedicated to former players of West Ham United, Robson reflected on his two spells at Upton Park and revealed his regret at not staying longer.

It is reported that he now owns a newsagents in the North-East of England, in Hexham, Northumberland.



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