FEATURE: Peterborough United are ready to honour a club legend

Tommy Robson in action for Posh.
Tommy Robson in action for Posh.
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Peterborough United are preparing to honour club legend Tommy Robson 50 years after he joined the club.

Robson moved to Posh from Newcastle United for a club record £20k in November 1968. After a club record 559 appearances in 13 seasons, 128 goals (only Jim Hall has more in Posh’s Football League era), a stint in the commercial department and a spell as youth team manager, the former club captain is now a popular matchday host at the ABAX.

Peterborough United manager Grant McCann and Tommy Robson speak to sponsors before the game.

Peterborough United manager Grant McCann and Tommy Robson speak to sponsors before the game.

Even when he worked as a local paper advertising manager, Robson was still a regular attendee at London Road, most notably as an expert match summariser for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Now his loyalty could be rewarded with a summer friendly in his honour, possibly against a former club Newcastle United or Chelsea.

“I have spoken to Darragh MacAnthony and Barry Fry about a game and it would be lovely if it happened,” Robson, still spritely at 73, said.

“But it’s been a pleasure rather than a chore to be involved with this club for so long. They made me feel very welcome from day one.

Tommy Robson when he joined in Posh in 1968.

Tommy Robson when he joined in Posh in 1968.

“We didn’t enjoy the success on the field I expected when I joined, but the attitude of everyone at the club and in the city made me want to stay around. I even enjoy what I do now. I help look after 60-70 sponsors and their guests, tell a few stories and bring the manager up for a pre-match chat.

“I must confess when I came down here I fancied I could help Posh do what I’d helped Northampton do - go all the way through from Division Four to Division One.

“When Posh showed an interest in me they had just been demoted from Division Three after finishing in the top half of the table so I felt we would breeze through Division Four.

“How wrong I was! It took six years before we won promotion so thank goodness Noel Cantwell turned up! I played in some great sides with some great players like Chris Turner and Freddie Hill, but we eventually ended up back in Division Four which was disappointing.

“I loved playing here though. I think the fans liked the way a little bloke competed against the big, hard lower division defenders.”

Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony added: “Subject to the availability of the stadium it’s possible (to organise a game in Tommy’s honour) this year or if not then definitely next year. Barry Fry is I believe helping Tommy with the away opposition.”

A committee led by prominent fan Adi Mowles, the man whose efforts helped deliver the Chris Turner statue to the ABAX Stadium, will also assist Robson in his 50th anniversary celebrations.

Tommy Robson Posh factfile

Debut: 1-0 loss at Workington, Division Four, November 23, 1968.

Final game: 1-1 home draw with Hartlepool, Division Four, April 25, 1981.

Total appearances: 559 (including 45 as a sub).

Goals: 128.

Tommy had a testimonial match against Ipswich in 1981 which attracted just over 4,000 fans to London Road.