Bryan Robson

The original Captain Marvel

Player Biography
Full name: Bryan Robson OBE
Date of birth: January 11, 1957
Clubs played for: West Brom, Manchester United, Middlesbrough
Clubs managed: Middlesbrough, Bradford, West Brom, Sheffield United
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Club Career

One of Ron Atkinson's first moves as Manchester United manager was to return to West Brom to sign his midfield general, Bryan Robson. He joined United in October 1981 for a then British record fee of £1.5million and went on to make almost 500 appearances for the club, winning a number of major honours, before seeing out his playing career at Middlesbrough in May 1994.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1974-81 West Brom 198 40
1981-94 Manchester United 345 74
1994-96 Middlesbrough 25 1

International Career

England's on-field leader during the 1980s, he played in three World Cups (1982, 1986 and 1990) as well as the European Championship finals in 1988, and would have won many more than his 90 caps were it not for the large number of injuries he sustained as a result of his all-action, combative playing style.

International Career Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1980-91 England 90 26

Managerial Career

Robson's managerial career got off to a swashbuckling start, steering Middlesbrough into the Premier League. He brought Brazilians Juninho and Emerson to Teesside, but neither could rescue Boro from relegation in 1997, although they did reach two cup finals that season. Robson took the club back to the top, but in 2000, a run of bad results saw Terry Venables parachuted in to help out. Robson resigned in 2001 and, since then, has had unsuccessful spells at Bradford, West Brom and Sheffield United.

Key Games

England 3-1 France (World Cup group stage, June 16, 1982)

England made the perfect start to their World Cup campaign in Spain as they beat France 3-1, thanks largely to a magnificent midfield performance from Bryan Robson. The captain opened the scoring after just 27 seconds - the quickest goal in World Cup history at the time - and he then added a second, to cancel out a French equaliser, before Paul Mariner completed the scoring with a third goal.

Manchester United 4-0 Brighton (FA Cup final replay, May 26, 1983)

Bryan Robson picked up his first trophy as United captain as the Red Devils emphatically claimed the FA Cup at the second time of asking, following a 2-2 draw in the first meeting five days previously. Robson himself scored twice, with the other goals coming from Norman Whiteside and an Arnold Muhren penalty, as United marked the occasion of Sir Matt Busby's 74th birthday in perfect fashion.

Manchester United 3-0 Barcelona (European Cup-Winners' Cup quarter-final 2nd leg, March 21, 1984)

Bryan Robson inspired United to a magnificent comeback as they recovered from a 2-0 defeat in the Nou Camp to book a place in the last four with a stunning 3-0 win at Old Trafford. Typically, it was Robson who led the fightback with two goals, totally eclipsing Barcelona's superstar Diego Maradona, before Frank Stapleton forced home the crucial third goal.


Club Competition Year
Manchester United Premier League 1992-93, 1993-94
FA Cup 1983, 1985, 1990, 1994
League Cup 1992
European Cup-Winners' Cup 1992
Middlesbrough (as manager) First Division Championship 1994-95

Did You Know...?

Only Bobby Moore and Billy Wright have captained England on more occasions than the 65 times Robson led his country.

Bryan Robson was the only player in the 20th century to captain three FA Cup-winning teams - in 1983, 1985 and 1990.

Robson earned an inscribed Seiko watch for scoring the fastest goal at the 1982 World Cup, which he still occasionally wears.

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From the back pages

Off To A Flying Start Published: June 17, 1982

World Cup group stage front page

England 3-1 France Published: June 17, 1982

World Cup group stage match report

Master Switch Published: June 17, 1982

World Cup group stage news story

Manchester United 4-0 Brighton Published: May 27, 1983

FA Cup final match report

Manchester United 3-0 Barcelona 0 (United win 3-2 on aggregate) Published: March 22, 1984

European Cup-Winners' Cup quarter-final 2nd leg match report

We Are The Champions Published: May 4, 1993

Premier League news story

Manchester United 3-1 Blackburn Published: May 4, 1993

Premier League match report

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