Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'Captain Marvel' faces fight with cancer

Any player who grew up watching the game in the 80's would have to admit to being an admirer of Bryan Robson. 'Captain Marvel' - as he was known to his fans - was a tremendous leader and competitor.

As BBC Sport reports that the former Manchester United and England captain has undergone surgery for throat cancer, we wish 'Captain Marvel' the swiftest and safest of recoveries.

Robson, 54, is currently coaching the Thailand national team and had the operation in Bangkok on 3 March.

"Bryan underwent an operation to remove a tumour from his throat," read a Manchester United statement.

"The laboratory report revealed a cancerous tumour, which will need further treatment. The oncologist is confident the condition is treatable."

Robson is combining his work in Thailand with an ambassadorial position at United and the Old Trafford outfit said he was "fine" to remain in the roles.

The Red Devils added in the statement: "Bryan and his family have requested that he can continue with his treatment in private and ask that their privacy is respected."

Recognised as one of the greatest players of his generation, Robson started his professional career with West Brom in 1974 and scored 40 goals in 198 appearances.

He joined Manchester United for a then British record transfer fee of £1.5m in 1981 and continued to build his reputation as a courageous and talismanic central midfielder.

By the time he left United in 1994, Robson had captained the club to three FA Cups, the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup and two Premier League titles.

He was also a key man for his country and scored what was - until 2002 - the second-fastest goal in World Cup history, a strike after 27 seconds of England's 3-1 victory over France in 1982.

Robson finished with 90 caps and - 65 as skipper - and was given the nickname 'Captain Marvel' by England's manager at the time Sir Bobby Robson.

He played 27 games for Middlesbrough before taking over as manager at the Riverside, and also led Bradford, West Brom and Sheffield United before succeeding Peter Reid as Thailand coach in September 2009.

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