Explore Timeline

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…

    Read More

    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

     

    Print Ready Version
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…

    Read More

    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.

    Print Ready Version

July 2013

  1. Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George of Cambridge

    Royal seal of approval for St George’s

      Sir Bob Murray was appointed as Project Director of St George’s Park in 2008 due to his vast experience in the football industry and in stadia and property development. St George’s Park was officially…

    Read More

    Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George of Cambridge

     

    Sir Bob Murray was appointed as Project Director of St George’s Park in 2008 due to his vast experience in the football industry and in stadia and property development.

    St George’s Park was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on 9th October 2012 and Bob and his wife Sue had the honour of spending time with the royal couple.

    “Sue and I were introduced to the Duke and Duchess and had the opportunity to speak to them for them for a long time. There was something glowing about them both and it wasn’t long after we met that the news the Duchess of Cambridge was expecting their first baby was revealed.

    “It was wonderful to hear that they had welcomed their first child into the world in July and to later hear he was going to be called Prince George, said Bob.

    “It did make me smile when I heard the name as it reminded me of Prince William asking me all about the inspiration for the name of St George’s Park last year. The Centre was originally called the National Football Centre but the FA gave me the privilege of naming it St George’s Park.

    “The Duke of Cambridge asked me where the name had come from when we were chatting and I replied for King and Country, Sir!”

    “I understand that the Prince was named after the Queen’s father, George VI and in choosing a name borne by six previous Kings, as well as England’s patron saint, the couple chose well.”

    Since its opening St George’s Park has earned plaudits from across sport and the globe for the quality of its facilities as well as the hope that it has injected into the future of English football.

     

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

    Print Ready Version

May 2013

  1. charles_alcock_sm

    Campaign to honour Charles Alcock

    The forgotten hero who created the world’s most famous club competition is to be honoured forty years after SAFC won the FA Cup. Sir Bob has been championing the cause of Charles William Alcock, a…

    Read More

    The forgotten hero who created the world’s most famous club competition is to be honoured forty years after SAFC won the FA Cup.

    Sir Bob has been championing the cause of Charles William Alcock, a Sunderland-born pioneer of the ‘beautiful game.’ Not only was Alcock behind the FA Cup, he also organised the first international football match.

    “Not many people know the name Charles William Alcock, that he was one of the founding fathers of modern-day football or that he came from Sunderland. His name is not synonymous with modern day football or sport, but perhaps it should be,” said Sir Bob.

    Charles W. Alcock was born in Norfolk Street in Sunderland in 1842, one of five sons of a shipbuilder originally from Durham. The family moved from Sunderland to London during the 1850s.

    “Alcock made a huge contribution to football and was a pioneer of modern football playing styles. He was responsible for the first ever international football match, but probably more apt this year as Sunderland celebrates the 40th Anniversary of their win, he created The FA Cup,” explained Sir Bob.

    Alcock devoted his life to sport first as a player and later as an influential and leading administrator and also a journalist. He guided The FA and his progressive thinking led to the rapid development of the national game and modern playing styles and the establishment of league football.

    He joined the FA Committee in 1866 and was appointed Honorary Secretary of The FA in 1870 and served in that role until 1895. He conceived and established the FA Cup, and even captained the first ever winning side, Wanderer’s at The Oval in 1872. He later refereed the 1875 and 1879 Finals.

    He also captained England in the first ever international football match against Scotland in 1870, although this game is considered unofficial by football historians and doesn’t appear in any record books. Nonetheless the match paved the way for the first officially recognised international match between Scotland and England in 1872. Alcock was selected to captain the England side but missed out due to injury.

    In 1895 he was appointed Vice President of The FA and 26 years later toured with England when the side visited Berlin and Prague for the first time. As part of his enormous contribution to sport he was also the Secretary of Surrey CCC from 1872 and helped arrange the first ever Test Match to be played in England.

     “I’ve always enjoyed a great working relationship with The FA and was delighted to be asked to get involved with the development of the new Wembley Stadium and more recently St George’s Park,” said Sir Bob

    “But, I always believed Charles Alcock deserved more recognition and have mentioned his name to a few people over the years. I recently decided to write to the FA Chairman David Bernstein to ask him to install a plaque or something befitting this eminent man at Wembley Stadium.

    “David wrote back to me and wholeheartedly agrees that Alcock made an incredibly important contribution to the history of our game and confirmed – after discussing it with the Executive Team leading The FA’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations – that he will be honoured in a number of ways this year.

    “I’m thrilled that Charles Alcock will finally get the recognition he so truly deserves.

    “The FA has given its full support to the restaging of the first FA Cup Final that Alcock was responsible for at The Oval between Royal Engineers and Wanderers. There could be no more fitting a venue for the commemoration of this match than The Oval, where Alcock also served Surrey CCC with such distinction as well.”

    In partnership with the National Football Museum The FA is also undertaking a significant project to find out more about the founding fathers of football and The FA. The project will be launched later in the year and this could include a permanent tribute being made to honour Alcock – and other founding fathers – at Wembley.

    Print Ready Version

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…

    Read More

     

     

     

    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.”

     

    Print Ready Version
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…

    Read More
    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.

     

    Play Button

    Print Ready Version
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…

    Read More

    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.”

     

    Print Ready Version