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Night of nostalgia with the Bradford City 'Godfather'
John Hendrie column: It was phenomenal seeing so many people turn out for the Bobby Campbell night. What a tribute to the big fella.
I was one of 12 ex-players there as well as 350 fans and you could feel the warmth in the room towards Bobby.
Don Goodman hit the nail on the head when he said that he never experienced a team spirit like that City team had. I could play until I’m 90 and would not find another like it.
That didn’t just come from the boys in the room but from the chairman Stafford Heginbotham downwards. We were all living in each other’s pockets and that was the beauty of it.
So when we meet up, it’s like we haven’t seen everyone since yesterday. We’re all totally relaxed and having a good laugh.
It was nice to be able to say a few things about Bobby, although when his wife got introduced I had to throw away a few tales I’d had planned!
Trevor Cherry was talking on screen about that team and saying that he didn’t know why Coventry let Greg Abbott, myself and Martin Singleton go. So Bobby turns round to me and Greg sat behind him and whispers: “Because you were ****!”
That just summed the evening up. His one-liners were absolutely brilliant and we heard some cracking stories.
The title of his book, They Don’t Make Them Like Him Any More, is so appropriate. He was like the Godfather.
We had to be quick learners on the pitch. If we weren’t performing then Bobby would be on your case, particularly with the wingers.
But he was also protective because he had a reputation. If we had any problems, it was like calling your big brother.
You only had to shout “Bobby, he’s hitting me” and he’d be straight over to sort your opponent out. You wouldn’t have a problem then.
Centre backs were petrified of him. But what I best remember is seeing Bobby after games with his pint and a fag in his hand. You wouldn’t get away with that nowadays.