sport news Bryan Robson and Phil Thompson lead tributes to 'special guy and proper player' ...

sport news Bryan Robson and Phil Thompson lead tributes to 'special guy and proper player' ...
sport news Bryan Robson and Phil Thompson lead tributes to 'special guy and proper player' ...
Bryan Robson and Phil Thompson lead tributes to 'special guy and proper player' Paul Mariner after ex-England, star dies after battle with brain cancer... while Terry Butcher hails him as a 'combination of Van Nistelrooy, Harry Kane and Van Basten'

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Bryan Robson led tributes to Paul Mariner on Saturday as English football mourned the passing of a 'terrific player and a wonderful man'.

The former Ipswich and England striker died on Friday at the age of 68 after a battle with brain cancer.

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Mariner was a colourful character who scored 139 goals in 339 games for Ipswich in a golden era in which they won the FA Cup in 1978 and UEFA Cup in 1981. His other clubs included Plymouth, Arsenal and Portsmouth while he also earned 35 England caps and scored 13 times including at the 1982 World Cup. 

'He had a terrific attitude to life,' said Robson. 'He was just a great, great laugh and will be so sadly missed. 

'I remember in the tunnel before England games I used to say ''Come on boys, let's go!'' I'd turn round then behind me I'd hear this huge roaring scream of ''Come Onnnn!'' And it would be Paul jumping up and down in the face of the opposition, often with Terry Butcher. You'd look at the other team and see they were scared half to death before they'd even gone out of the tunnel. Yet off the pitch, you could not meet a nicer guy.' 

Tributes have poured in for Paul Mariner after the former footballer died from brain cancer

Tributes have poured in for Paul Mariner after the former footballer died from brain cancer

Mariner, 68, who died on Friday morning, won 35 caps for England and scored 13 goals

Mariner, 68, who died on Friday morning, won 35 caps for England and scored 13 goals

Former Liverpool and England captain Phil Thompson shared a similar memory. 'We were at Hampden to play Scotland so it was normally vocal and feisty but Paul, who was 6ft 3ins and Terry, at 6ft 4ins, would take it to another level. They'd be leaping and screaming down the corridor shouting ''Come on! Let's batter these.'' We were frightened and they were on

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