When it came to where the soul of football could be found, the late Sir Bobby Robson was in no doubt.

Writing in Newcastle - My Kind of Toon, his 2008 love letter to his home city, Sir Bobby wrote: "What is a club in any case? Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it.

"It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.

"It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city.

"It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love."

The quote has been widely shared on social media today as the antithesis of the breakaway European Super League planned by six so-called 'elite' clubs.

Former Toon player David Beherall tweeted: "Can't think of a better thing to post with respect to this new league. Agree with recent comments from @GNev2 [Gary Neville, who roasted the plans yesterday while on pundit duty]. This quote from Sir Bobby Robson is fitting here, this is what it's all about!"

Fans of clubs at all levels of the game have been sharing the quote, including the six involved in the breakaway - Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Arsenal fan and journalist Tristan Cross wrote: "The hopeless sentimental in me can't help be affected by this Bobby Robson quote, every time I think about it. I feel it in my bones to be true, in spite of gnawing understanding that, in reality, it isn't; a football club really is just a loveless entry in a billionaire's portfolio."

And Liverpool fan Matt Ryan tweeted: "Sir Bobby Robson would be absolutely disgusted with what our game has become".

One thing is for sure: barring a last minute U-turn from the clubs involved, the coming of the European Super League will usher in an era of the game that could not be further from Sir Bobby's idyllic vision.