Alan Knight: Fond memories of Bobby Campbell’s famous side

Bobby Campbell
Bobby Campbell
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It was sad news when I heard about the death of my former manager Bobby Campbell.

He was highly thought of throughout the game and especially at his clubs.

A few people will say he didn’t suffer fools gladly but I think I only ever fell out with him once and that was over a sponsored car.

As player of the year, I was supposed to get a sponsored car for a year and for some reason, it didn’t happen.

I went into the showroom at Empress in Drayton to try to do a deal on the quiet and Bobby was in there doing a deal for himself as well!

He got the hump with me for that but he did apologise later for doing it in public.

But I don’t remember ever falling out with him over football. The bloke was fantastic for me.

If he thought you were a good player and you were in his plans, he looked after you.

I remember I was picked to play for England under-21s as an over-age player after Gary Bailey got injured.

I played two games and then I was left out of the squad for the next game.

But I remember Bobby Campbell called me into his office and then got Bobby Robson on the phone to explain why I had been left out, which I found amazing.

Poor old Bobby Robson had nothing to do with the under-21s.

But I was lucky to play in that team that romped to the division three league title under Bobby Campbell.

It was one of the best teams I was lucky enough to play in.

Then the next season, we had an attacking team but we were leaking goals – although I try to forget that bit.

I don’t remember making too many major clangers but he played attacking football.

Defensively, we were struggling a bit but as I remember, I think we had a few injuries and we never really had a settled back four.

But Bobby didn’t change from his attacking principles.

His philosophy was to score more than the opposition and that’s why people always say Bobby’s teams were good to watch – they were certainly great to play in.

I was always busy and I preferred it that way.

Being a goalkeeper for Pompey at the moment, your concentration levels have got to be top notch because you don’t have much to do and maybe that caused Brian Murphy to make his mistake against Macclesfield.

Mistakes happen – I know that more than most – but it’s how you react to it.

It will be interesting to see if it affects his confidence and he will be under the microscope on Sunday against AFC Wimbledon.

Finally, I’m opening the new Tesco tomorrow at 10am along with the lord mayor.

Hopefully, they don’t want me on the checkout.