Sir Bobby Robson might have come across as the nice, kindly gentleman who lived next door and gave you sweets growing up.
But as Craig Bellamy found out, the former England manager has some bite behind the scenes.
Welsh striker Bellamy had been signed by Robson at Newcastle for £6.5million – a hefty price back in 2001 – and brought in to bring glory back to St James’ Park and add gloss to their Champions League side.
Bellamy, who carried a bad boy reputation throughout his career, felt a firm verbal back hander from experienced Robson, ex boss of PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, and Barcelona, after being subbed off early from a game.
The future Liverpool hit man was brought off early on, with Robson trying to save his legs for a forthcoming match, as told by Kieron Dyer in his autobiography, which is currently being serialised in the Daily Mail.
Bellamy didn’t take kindly to being hooked and started to eff and jeff about the decision in the dressing room, leading to Robson shouting ‘will you shut up’.
“Craig kept jabbering away about the injustice and finally Sir Bobby snapped. ‘I’ll squash you, son, like an ant,'” Dyer recalled in his book ‘Old Too Soon, Smart Too Late: My Story’.
“‘Who are you?” Sir Bobby said. “Ronaldo, Romario, Stoichkov, Hagi, Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Gascoigne: these are the people I deal with. And who are you?
“The changing room went quiet. Even Craig went quiet. And then Craig looked over at me and said: ‘He’s got a point, hasn’t he?”
Bellamy would create a strong strike partnership with Alan Shearer before falling out with Robson’s successor Graeme Souness and being sent out on loan to Celtic.