Stunned Gazza says that he has lost his second dad

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London, Aug.1 (ANI): A stunned Paul Gascoigne fought back tears on Friday as he led tributes to Sir Bobby Robson, one of the game's best-loved figures.

"Bobby was like my second dad. I can't describe how much he meant to me. I'm numb," The Sun quoted Gazza, 42, as saying.

He also said that he met Robson last on Sunday at a charity rematch against Germany.ore than 33,000 fans turned up at Newcastle's St James' Park to salute cancer-stricken Sir Bobby. The 76-year-old in turn tipped his hat to them as he was pushed on to the pitch in a wheelchair.

Gazza said: "He kept himself alive for the game. I'm going to miss him so badly."

Sir Bobby's career spanned six decades, seeing him play with Fulham and West Brom and win trophies while managing clubs in England, Holland, Portugal and Spain.

But he will be remembered as much for his enthusiasm, humility and dignity.

A miner's son, Sir Bobby died on Friday morning after a 17-year battle against cancer. His wife Lady Elsie and their three children, Andrew, Paul and Mark were with him at the family home in County Durham.

He was England boss from 1982 to 1990.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said of Robson: "He epitomised everything that is great about football in this country. His passion, patriotism, dedication and professionalism knew no equal."

Ex-PM and Newcastle fan Tony Blair said: "Sir Bobby was one of the nicest, most caring and genuine people I ever met - a real Geordie gentleman." rince William, the president of the FA, said: "His contribution to English football as a player, manager and superb ambassador for our national game has been immense."

Heartbroken fans laid flowers at the Newcastle stadium and players held a minute's silence. There were similar scenes at Ipswich's Portman Road ground.

Flags at both sites flew at half-mast, along with others at the FA HQ in London's Soho Square and at Wembley Stadium.

Geordie hero Alan Shearer said: "He will be sadly missed by everyone, not just by people in the football world but from all walks of life."

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce, who played under Sir Bobby for England, said: "I cannot think of anyone in the game who was held in higher esteem."

Ron Atkinson, a former Manchester United boss, said: "Everybody looked upon him as their favourite uncle." (ANI)

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