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2016

October 2016

  1. Sir-Aly-Ramsey-Way-3

    On The Road To….

    Sir Bob was at St George’s Park on 5th October for a special road naming ceremony. In this 50th anniversary year since England’s 1966 World Cup victory, the FA is renaming the main road into…

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    Sir Bob was at St George’s Park on 5th October for a special road naming ceremony.

    In this 50th anniversary year since England’s 1966 World Cup victory, the FA is renaming the main road into St George’s Park after Sir Alf Ramsey.

    FA Chairman, Greg Clarke hosted the naming ceremony to unveil the special road name which was followed by a lunch at the Hilton with many of the players and families of the 1966 squad in attendance.  Following the lunch, the 1966 guests were taken on a short tour of the elite facilities.  

    “It was very apt and an honour to be rubbing shoulders with members of our 1966 team at St George’s Park. These players achieved the greatest feat in football without the elite training facilities players of today now enjoy – and we all hope we can emulate their historic achievement and success again in the future.”

    Sir Bob was the Project Director for the development of St George’s Park and remains a property advisor to the FA and Wembley.

    http://www.thefa.com/St-Georges-Park

     

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2013
  1. Sir Bob with George Clarke and Marco Gabbiadini

    George and Marco visit SGP

      Three of Sunderland’s finest came together earlier this month for a visit to St George’s Park, the home of the National Football Centre. Sir Bob welcomed TV presenter and leading architect George Clarke and…

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    Sir Bob with George Clarke and Marco Gabbiadini

     

    Three of Sunderland’s finest came together earlier this month for a visit to St George’s Park, the home of the National Football Centre.

    Sir Bob welcomed TV presenter and leading architect George Clarke and former SAFC player Marco Gabbiadini to the training base for the 24 England teams.

    George Clarke was born and raised in Sunderland and has presented a number of successful series for television including Restoration Man, George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and The Great British Property Scandal.  Before arriving at St George’s Park, George tweeted; “A rare day off today. Being taken on a visit to the new St George’s Park National Football Centre with Sir Bob Murray.”

    George and Bob were joined by Marco Gabbiadini, best known for his successful career in football and who is fondly remembered by SAFC fans for his goal in a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park in 1990.

    The trio spent the day at St George’s Park and George said; “I’ve had the most incredible day with two of my all-time heroes, Sir Bob Murray and Marco Gabbiadini.”

    In 2008 Bob was appointed Project Director for St George’s Park to drive delivery of the project on time and to budget, given his wealth of experience in the football industry and stadia development.

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April 2013

  1. St George's Park - General views of the football training facilities and hotel complex during a media event

    SAFC legend visits St George’s Park

          A former Sunderland AFC legend has visited the new National Football Centre, St George’s Park, after receiving an invitation from Sir Bob. Marco Gabbiadini, one of Sunderland’s most memorable key players, was…

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    A former Sunderland AFC legend has visited the new National Football Centre, St George’s Park, after receiving an invitation from Sir Bob.

    Marco Gabbiadini, one of Sunderland’s most memorable key players, was impressed with the new FA coaching headquarters; “The stunning facilities make an old pro like me almost shed a tear!”

    In 2004 Bob was appointed Project Director for St George’s Park to drive delivery of the project on time and to budget, due to his experience in the football industry and stadia development.

    The Centre, located in Burton, was officially opened in October 2012 by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

    During Marco’s visit there was an Under-13s Premier League tournament with 12 teams from all over Europe, as well as a Cerebral Palsy football tournament.

    The Norwich City football squad were there too, using the hotel and training facilities to prepare for their fixture against Stoke.

    Speaking of St George’s Park, Marco said;

     “All this inclusive activity means English football has a solid base to work from and develop and we should be proud that a son of Sunderland has had such a big hand in its delivery.”

     

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2012

October 2012

  1. 2012-2

    The opening of St George’s Park

    The FA’s national football centre, St George’s Park, was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on 9th October 2012. Bob and his wife Sue officially welcomed the Royal couple. The Duke of…

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    Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

    Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, David Bernstein, Chairman of FA, Sir Bob and Lady  Murray at opening of St George’s Park

    The FA’s national football centre, St George’s Park, was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on 9th October 2012. Bob and his wife Sue officially welcomed the Royal couple.

    The Duke of Cambridge opened the new £105 million training base in Burton-Upon-Trent, which was completed in July in his capacity as President of the Football Association.

    The new National Football Centre is a state-of-the-art training complex which boasts 12 full size training pitches, a multisport indoor hall, five gyms and the only FIFA accredited Centre of Medical Excellence in the country. The 330 acre site also includes two top class hotels, Hilton and Hampton by Hilton.

    Sir Bob was appointed Project Director for St George’s Park by the Football Association in November 2008 due to his wealth of football experience and his expertise in building world class football stadia and property development background.

    Sir Bob said: “I am thrilled that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could join us to celebrate the opening of St George’s Park and to show their support for this incredible sporting facility.”

    “St George’s Park may have been a long time in coming but it was worth the wait. It is a masterpiece of design and function, merging high quality architectural standards with exacting operational demands. We not only have the most stylish football centre in the world but one that works on all levels and will deliver exceptional results.”

    England manager Roy Hodgson and his squad used the training facilities for the first time ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualification game against San Marino on 12th October.

     

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2010

January 2010

  1. St George's Park

    St George’s Park – The story behind the name

    The FA announced the name of England’s national football centre in January 2010 while launching their latest plans for the development. “As Project Director, one of the most rewarding and exciting jobs associated with St…

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    St George’s Park logo

    The FA announced the name of England’s national football centre in January 2010 while launching their latest plans for the development.

    “As Project Director, one of the most rewarding and exciting jobs associated with St George’s Park was having the honour of conceiving the name and the logo.  St George’s Park is the prestigious base and home of all England teams and a place for all those associated with England to identify with.”

    “Choosing a strong, distinguished and recognisable name was an important decision and Saint George the patron saint of England seemed the perfect choice. He is among the most famous of Christian figures and is popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry.

    “The Legend of St. George also evokes a powerful and emotive image of a heroic and fearless Knight, sword in hand slaying an evil enemy in the form of the dragon.

    “The emblem of St George, a red cross on a white background, is the flag of England, and part of the British flag. St George’s emblem was adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century and the king’s soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.

    “Once the name was chosen designing the logo was next. Design is a very visceral thing and often difficult to describe but there is always a driving logic behind it. The inspiration for the logo was to combine the ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry and the Legend of St George with the spirit of the beautiful game.

    “The slashing and cutting motion of two strikes of a sabre represents St George’s sword slaying the dragon. The implied motion and speed is also a metaphor for the dashing diagonal motions within the game of football.

    “The non-static swirling lines of the cross seek to evoke the movement of a flag – the St George’s flag – but again also a reference to movement and rhythm within the beautiful game. The reach of the upper part of the device implies tension as if stretching for success. Finally, the cross in the device is an implied ‘x’ which is often used to symbolise excellence.”

     

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2008
  1. Sir Bob with the plans for St George's Park

    Sir Bob appointed Project Director for St George’s Park

    The Football Association had made a number of attempts to establish a National Football Centre from the early 70’s through to the 90’s but ultimately all attempts had failed for various reasons. The FA finally…

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    Sir Bob with the plans for St George’s Park

    The Football Association had made a number of attempts to establish a National Football Centre from the early 70’s through to the 90’s but ultimately all attempts had failed for various reasons.

    The FA finally purchased Byrkley Park, in the heart of the National Forest in 2001 and in the same year secured planning permission for the development of a National Football Centre. However, financial constraints meant that the development was again postponed in 2004.

    Due to Bob’s experience in the football industry and in stadia development he was asked to join the FA Board of the National Football Centre in 2008, as Project Director, to drive delivery of the project on time and to budget. As the only Director outside of the FA he was thrilled to accept the challenge. He actively sought the support of both the game and the nation to fund and build the national football centre.

    The FA’s Professional and National Game Boards gave their unanimous backing to begin construction of the £105m project at an announcement in London in November 2010. Work started on the 330 acre site close to Burton-upon-Trent in January 2011 and was completed on time and within budget in the summer of 2012.

    The centre incorporates state of the art educational facilities, medical facilities, sports science, a full size indoor pitch, hotel & recreation centre. The vision that saw Bob build the Stadium of Light and Academy of Light also focused on completing one of the most ambitious projects in world football. He said: “This world class facility will change the face of English football by producing quality home-grown players, coaches and managers of whom we can be proud”.

    Bob was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2008, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business in Yorkshire and the sports industry.

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