June 16 – Robbo’s Quick Off the Mark

HAVING taken a job as an ambassador for Manchester United it has to be hoped that Bryan Robson has finally learned that football management is not really his forte.

Here at OTFD we have always wondered why so many chairman consistently overlooked his managerial record which was at best mediocre and at worst just plain bad, and continued to employ him. Perhaps Bryan was living on his past glories as a fantastic player and captain for Manchester United and England.

Captain Marvel was an outstanding player for both club and country and he was equally happy scoring goals as he was preventing the opposition from doing so. Today in 1982 at the World Cup in Spain Robbo wasted no time in getting England’s campaign up and running when he scored after just 27 seconds in the opening match against France.

Steve Coppell took a long throw in, Terry Butcher headed it on and an unmarked Robson volleyed it in at the far post. It was the fastest goal ever scored in World Cup history and the record stood for 20 years until Hakan Suker scored after just 10 seconds against South Korea at the 2002 World Cup.

Gérard Soler equalised for the French before Robson added another by beating the goalkeeper to a cross from Trevor Francis on the right and heading the ball into the net. Paul Mariner got England’s third goal seven minutes from full time to complete a 3-1 win against a French team containing Michel Platini.

For Robson’s record-breaking achievement, he received an inscribed gold watch, which apparently he still occasionally wears.

After the France game England went on to beat Czechoslovakia and Kuwait in the first round, before drawing to both Germany and Spain in the second round which was not enough to see them through to the quarter-finals. They were eliminated without losing a single game.

Have a look at the England v France game below to see Robbo’s early goal and come back tomorrow for more from us as usual.

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