Friday, 23 April 2010
Sir Bobby Robson’s cancer charity receives fantastic ongoing support from fans of all of his former clubs – and outside the north east that support is undoubtedly strongest in Suffolk where fans of Ipswich Town continue to raise funds in his name.
Ipswich Town enjoyed a period of incredible success under 13 years of Sir Bobby’s management including winning both the FA and UEFA cups. As well as regular European football, the team finished league runners-up twice - and all this was accomplished relying largely on players brought up through the club’s youth programme.
For a relatively small club, the achievements of Ipswich Town during Sir Bobby’s reign were tremendous and prompted the Football Association to offer Sir Bobby the position of England manager.
In recognition of his influence at Ipswich Town Sir Bobby was honoured with the position of Honorary President and was granted the freedom of the town 30 years after that historic UEFA Cup win.
Now, in turn, Sir Bobby’s family would like to recognise the tremendous support given to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation by Ipswich Town and its fans and is proud to announce Mick Mills MBE, Sir Bobby’s club captain, has agreed to become a patron of the charity.
Lady Elsie Robson says: “When we launched the charity we were overwhelmed at the support and generous donations which flooded in from Suffolk. Bobby often used the word faithful and that is how he described that support.
“It’s touching that he is so well remembered in Suffolk. We enjoyed our time there a great deal and my family and I have very fond memories of Ipswich.
“Given the wonderful and ongoing support Bobby’s charity is receiving from Suffolk we felt it would be appropriate to have a Patron to officially represent the Foundation in the town. We couldn’t think of anyone better to ask than the man who led Bobby’s team to such great successes on the pitch and we were very pleased when Mick kindly agreed to help.
“Mick’s support is greatly appreciated as we continue to raise money to fight this terrible disease.”
After Sir Bobby lost his brave battle with cancer in July last year Ipswich Town named a stand at the club in his name. Lady Elsie and two of Sir Bobby’s sons officially renamed the stand on the day Newcastle United visited Portman Road in September last year and the occasion was also marked by the pre-match appearance of players from Sir Bobby’s legendary Ipswich side.
Both teams ran out special commemorative shirts bearing the logo of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which were then auctioned off in aid of the charity.
Mick says: “Ipswich Town holds a very important chapter in Sir Bobby’s life and it was an honour to be part of the occasion when Newcastle came to Portman Road last September.
“It was very important for Ipswich Town to do something personal to remember Sir Bobby as his contribution to the club was immense. I think they did very well and it was a perfect day although obviously the result went against us. Now we have the Sir Bobby Robson Stand as well as the statue outside Portman Road and they are both very well deserved.
“What I think Bobby would have liked best of all though is the way he has linked these two football clubs. He was a Newcastle United supporter as a boy and you never forget that team. It was so special for him to go on and manage the club and he is a common denominator for fans of both teams.
“I was absolutely delighted to be asked by Sir Bobby’s family to become a patron for his charity. It means a lot to be well thought of by them and it’s nice that even though Bobby has gone I can continue my association with him.
“We both came through difficult times together and working hard with a very talented team went on to reap the rewards. We worked together for a long time as manager and captain and it was without question my most enjoyable period within football.”
Mick’s new role with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation will be made official with a pre-match presentation to fans ahead of the Newcastle United versus Ipswich game on 24 April. This will also be an opportunity for Sir Bobby’s family to say thank you to both clubs and their fans for their tremendous ongoing support for the charity.
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has now raised over £2.4 million to fight cancer. Its main focus is the clinical trials of new anti-cancer drugs.
The charity has equipped and partially staffed the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle, which treated 560 patients in its first year. For many of these patients standard cancer treatment is no longer effective and they are prepared to take a chance on something new. Without the Sir Bobby Robson Centre they would probably not have the opportunity to do so.
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and a wider cancer research network to provide services not currently funded by the NHS.