Tributes paid to South Shields football stalwart who worked as Newcastle United and Ipswich scout under Bobby Robson
As a scout for the Toon Army as well as for Ipswich Town, Sonny Hobson helped spot and develop some of the country’s most promising talents.
Having run a number of football teams in South Shields, he dedicated more than 30 years of his life to promoting grassroots football in the North East.
Mr Hobson was involved with a number of clubs across the borough. He started off by lending a hand to the management team at Marsden Juniors and later went on to set up the then-Brinkburn Community Association team, which competed in the regional Northern Alliance leagues.
His work as the North East’s regional scout for Ipswich coincided with the late Bobby Robson’s famed tenure as manager of the Suffolk club.
Mr Hobson plied his trade as an electrician at Tyne Tees Television for most of his days. But, according to his son, Richard, his dad’s burning passion in life was always the beautiful game.
“It was always football with my dad," Richard Hobson told The Gazette.
"Everybody knew him as a really approachable and happy bloke. He had such a nice demeanour about him.
"I posted the news of his passing on social media and all the good local footballers in the area commented to share their fond memories of him. They had total respect for him – they thought he was such a lovely man.”
Mr Hobson was awarded a Pride of South Tyneside prize by The Gazette in 2006 for his decades-long work promoting football in the area.
In his later years, the South Shields man developed an enthusiasm for the more leisurely-paced sport of bowls, having been a part of various teams in both South Shields and Boldon.
His son, who also lives in South Shields, said a degree of his own social life had been built around his father’s work in local football.
"Me and my brother both played for his teams. And I’ve even still got good friends who did,” he added.
Mr Hobson passed away earlier this month.