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Fans helped to ease Pat's pain

PUBLISHED: 11:04 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:33 01 August 2010

IPSWICH Town supporters relieved the pain for Sir Bobby Robson's former secretary Pat Godbold at yesterday's thanksgiving service for the ex-Ipswich Town manager.

IPSWICH Town supporters relieved the pain for Sir Bobby Robson's former secretary Pat Godbold at yesterday's thanksgiving service for the ex-Ipswich Town manager.

She worked for Sir Bobby for 36 years, but could not face a journey to Durham Cathedral for the service that was attended by footballing and other dignitaries from around the world.

“I received an invitation, but can't bring myself to travel further than Woodbridge these days,” said Pat.

“My plan was to sit at home and watch the service on television and cry on my own.

“But James Hehir, chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council, invited me to join the official party at the big-screen showing on the Cornhill.

“I was given a seat on stage, and when Ipswich Town director of communications Terry Baxter introduced me to the crowd I was given a round of applause.

“That was nice, and helped relieve the pain.

“You cannot work for a wonderful man and a wonderful character for as long as I did without feeling sad at his loss.

“He used to say I was his right arm - and sometimes his left arm as well.”

Pat, who is still working at Portman Road after 55 years and is this week helping to organise events at Saturday's Championship match against Newcastle United when the north stand will be named after her former boss, thought it was a fitting service.

“It was very well organised and there were some wonderful tributes,” she said.

“No more than the great man deserved.

“And I am looking forward to another emotional day on Saturday and meeting up with players who played under Sir Bobby when Ipswich won the FA and UEFA Cups.

“There have been so many happy occasions and while I was able I flew all over Europe with Sir Bobby's family and with friends to watch games where he was involved as England or club manager.”

Pat hasn't lost sight of the importance of the result on Saturday against the last team that Robson managed before losing a courageous fight against cancer aged 76 on July 31.

“I know the great man would approve of a win for Roy Keane and his boys,” said Pat. “But on the other hand perhaps he would accept a draw on this occasion.”

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