Former Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson apologised to the current Magpies boss Steve Bruce for not picking him for England while he managed the Three Lions.

Bruce's former defensive partner Gary Pallister has revealed the brilliant encounter came in front of his stunned Manchester United team-mates at a hotel in Lisbon.

The Newcastle boss famously never won an England cap, despite winning 13 major honours across spells with Norwich City and the Red Devils.

Robson managed the Three Lions between 1982 and 1990 before going on to manage PSV, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona and Newcastle.

While managing in Lisbon, Manchester United took on their city rivals Benfica in December 1992 and after the match Robson went to the team hotel and asked Sir Alex Ferguson if he could talk to his players.

“Brucie was awesome," Pallister told the One Last Match podcast.

"There’s a story there - we played against Benfica one night, it was a mid-season game to celebrate Benfica opening a new stadium.

“We went out and played there and Sir Bobby Robson was the manager of Sporting Lisbon.

“It was [Eric] Cantona’s first game he played for Manchester United – he came on as a sub.

“Afterwards, Bobby Robson came to our hotel where we were having a couple of jars in the bar after the game, and he walked in and said to the manager: ‘Can I have a chat with your boys?’

“The gaffer introduced Sir Bobby. He said: ‘Look lads I just want to have a moment of your time. I just want to say sorry to Steve Bruce because I really should have given him an England cap. You were so well worth an England cap - I just want to apologise for not giving you one.’

“Which was great for Steve to hear that. It didn’t probably ease the pain of not playing for England, but I think that told you an awful lot about what really great managers thought about Steve Bruce.”