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NO IFS OR BUTTS: BOBBY’S BACK

14 August 2015




It is great to see my old Albion teammate Bobby back at the club again. I know he hasn't done a full pre-season and he will be playing catch-up, but you could tell at the Forest game what a lift his return gave everyone.

I call him a teammate, but I actually only ever played one game with him, which we lost against Sheffield United 4-2. I got dropped for the next game, which was when we lost heavily to Palace so I am glad I missed that one! People still tell me I had a shocker at Selhurst that day even though I didn't even play!



Back to Bobby and I am sure he will score goals in this division. He admits himself that he won't probably be as prolific as he was the first time around, but a lot of my friends are QPR fans, and they always praised how well he held the ball up and brought other people into play. I think that was something we lacked last year.

In that era when he was first here we had a lot of good characters around, which has been well documented, and Bobby was one of them. The changing room back then was always lively and there was a lot of good banter. Bobby was as good off the pitch as he was on it - but as soon as we got relegated it was no real surprise he went to Spurs, due to his goal record.



We ended up playing against him about a year or so later, when he was at West Ham. I remember we won but I can't remember who scored the goal that day!

That game was like the Alamo, the first ten minutes they hit the post, Michel Kuipers had pulled off some world-class saves and there were goalmouth scrambles - but we were still level. Then I remember thinking we had weathered the storm and then, I can't remember if we were a goal up at that point, but they started bringing on players like Bobby and Sergei Rebrov and they had basically four up front - it was unbelievable.



In the game Bobby said to me, 'How are you lot winning?' It was crazy that West Ham didn’t score. It was a mixture of a good team performance and a lot of luck that day, I will always remember that - when we came into the dressing room at the end of the game, we were all laughing like little schoolboys about how lucky we'd been.

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Bobby has been welcomed by some of his old teammates, and there are a lot of the lads from that era still around the club still. Watto (Paul Watson) obviously got his head down and got his qualifications to be a physio; Jonesy (Nathan Jones) has done his coaching badges and is now doing really well with the first team; and it was great to see Ben Roberts come back this summer.

Dodge (Paul Rogers) is working for the commercial team and a lot of the ex-pros are working in the lounges on a matchday, including myself with Michel Kuipers, Bob Booker and Gary Chivers, so it is good to see so many of the former players still connected with the club.



Jonesy was one of the lads when we played together at Brighton. My abiding memory of him is when he dressed up in a pink, rubber nurse's uniform for a Christmas fancy dress party!

What some people don't know is that he is a devout christian. He always made me laugh as he used to say that he couldn't train on a Sunday due to his religious beliefs but that went out the window when we reached the Play-Off Final, that was on a Sunday but he was alright for that!



He is one of the good characters, but I am not surprised he is where he is. I did my level three coaching badges with him and he really knows his stuff. He is the sort of lad that will go away and study; he is into the technical side of things.

It is the same with Ben Roberts, he was a great keeper in his day. For someone so good looking as he is he wasn't afraid to dive in at players' feet, but again I'm not surprised to see where he is today - and it's great to know our keepers' futures are in safe hands with Ben.

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V BLACKBURN ROVERS 

SATURDAY 22ND AUGUST, KICK-OFF 3PM


ALBION V HULL CITY 

SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, KICK-OFF 7.45PM



ALBION V ROTHERHAM UNITED 

TUESDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER, KICK-OFF 3PM



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