Thursday, 16 September 2010


On the day (Thursday 16th September) when the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation broke through the £2.5 million fund-raising mark, BBC Radio 5 live broadcast live from the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre as part of its Septemberfest festival.

The two hour national radio show, hosted by Durham University graduate and Newcastle United fan Gabby Logan, focussed on the pioneering cancer research being done at the Sir Bobby Centre and the ongoing work of north east cancer charity - the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Interviewees included Sir Bobby’s widow and sons – Lady Elsie, Paul, Andrew and Mark Robson – Alan Shearer OBE, who is a patron of Sir Bobby’s charity, and Newcastle United goal keeper Steve Harper. In addition, Peter Beardsley visited the Centre to be filmed discussing the great legacy Sir Bobby Robson has left for other people fighting cancer.

Sir Bobby Robson Centre patients, staff and fund-raisers for the Foundation also contributed to the programme which paid tribute to Sir Bobby and the incredible legacy he left for cancer patients in the north east and Cumbria through his charity.

Speaking from the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, BBC 5 live’s Gabby Logan said: “What a truly inspiring and magical place and Sir Bobby Robson’s presence loomed large all afternoon.

“It was a joy to meet the patients, nurses and Professor Plummer here and I hope the Foundation’s fund-raising goes from strength to strength.”

Talking about the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Lady Elsie said: “Bob’s football legacy was great. But I think this is much more important and I think it was to him in the end. The charity was something very different, something very special. It was something which kept him vibrant and kept him going.

“I do get strength from coming here to the Sir Bobby Centre and it’s also very moving. This morning I felt it as I entered the building. It’s just a great legacy and when you see his name up on the sign. It’s tremendous what he did and all in the last two years of his life.”

On announcing the £2.5 million fund-raising mark had been passed Alan Shearer commented: “It’s an incredible achievement and a result of so many people’s generosity and so many people’s hard work.

“If he’s looking down today Sir Bobby will be smiling and will say that’s because of me. And so he should, he should be proud – he was an incredible man.”

Talking about the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre Alan added: “When you walk in here you shouldn’t see people smiling because you know why they’re here and what their treatment is for. But you do see so many people smiling.

“This is a very, very special place. We’ve all had family and friends who have lost people to cancer and Sir Bobby wanted to get to the bottom of that. He’s left a tremendous legacy.”

BBC Radio 5 live's Septemberfest, the station's annual festival, is in Newcastle and Gateshead from Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th September. It brings together all the elements of the 5 Live mix – news, sport and entertainment – in front of live audiences and will include coverage of the Great North Run, full details at

The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital in Newcastle opened in February 2009. In its first year, over 600 new patients from the north east and Cumbria have been treated there.

The Centre treats patients on clinical trials of new cancer drugs. These include early trials of laboratory tested drugs which are being used in patients for the first time as well as those which are further on in development and being compared to standard treatments for effectiveness.

This means cancer patients from across the region can choose to participate in trials and have an opportunity to try new treatments as they emerge.

The Centre was constructed by the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and equipped by the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Its’ specialist staff are funded through Newcastle University, the NHS Trust, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and a wider cancer research network to provide services not yet available within the NHS.