Sir Bobby Robson will swap the Toon Army for the Barmy Army when he retires.

The Newcastle manager dreams of sitting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground or the Kensington Oval, Barbados, watching England in Test match action.

Robson, who used to play cricket for Langley Park Colliery Welfare, is an honorary life member of Durham - the hosts of yesterday's one-day international between England and India and Sir Bobby was at the Riverside for the clash.

But he wants to head to foreign lands when he finally quits football and become the most unlikely foot soldier of England's Barmy Army band of supporters.

He said: "I've always loved cricket and one of my biggest ambitions is to follow England on tour, either to Australia or the Caribbean - and one day I will.

"When I left Sporting Lisbon, I was going to watch England in the West Indies.

"It was all set up but a month later I got the job at Porto and I had to give it up.

"I can't think of a better way of spending a day than at a Test match."

Robson, football's elder statesman, also revealed how he earmarked Alec Stewart for stardom when the England veteran was still in nappies.

Robson watched Stewart, now 39, develop his talent in the lounge of his family home in London in the 1960s when the Newcastle boss was at Fulham.

He said: "I'm a great friend of Mickey Stewart. He was manager of the England cricket team at the same time as I was England football manager.

"Before that, he would regularly come to watch Fulham when I was a player there.

"I remember going round to his house on Saturday nights when young Alec was only knee high.

"Mickey used to toss a tennis ball for Alec to hit in the sitting room and he allowed him to hit it wherever he wanted.

"He would smash it all over the place, bouncing it off the walls and the furniture with a chair as the wicket."