Tuesday, 28 September 2010


Boro Chairman Steve Gibson has praised fans who raised £13,000 for Teesside cancer patients via a charity football match at the Riverside Stadium.

Organised through popular Middlesbrough fanzine Fly Me To The Moon, the game in May raised almost £13,000 for north east cancer charity the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Gibson, the Teesside Patron for the Foundation, received the cheque on behalf of the charity from Boro supporter Andy Clark and Fly Me to the Moon editor Robert Nichols.

Lifelong Boro fan Andy Clark, a national fuel manager from Billingham, was the driving force behind the fund-raising.

Andy said: “Last year we arranged a charity game at Conyers School in Yarm. It was pulled together at really short notice but we had a great time and raised £2,500 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

“We were lucky enough to present that cheque to Sir Bobby in person and this year I was determined to raise even more money to help local people fighting cancer.

“We asked Steve Gibson if we could use the Riverside this time round and he kindly said yes. The venue made a huge difference and it was a very special day for everyone involved.”

The two teams were made up of regular contributors to Fly Me To The Moon’s online football message boards and were joined by former Middlesbrough players Paul Kerr and Mark Proctor. They were cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of family and friends with vocal backing from supporters’ group Red Faction.

After 90 minutes the score stood at 1–1 and, after a lively penalty shoot-out, the game finished 11-11. Players and supporters then enjoyed a post-match celebration in the club’s Legends Lounge.

Steve Gibson said: “I was deeply touched when I was asked to be a patron of Sir Bobby’s Foundation and I am delighted that Middlesbrough FC’s involvement is already making a tangible difference in raising funds for the charity.

“This was a magnificent effort by a big-hearted group of Boro supporters. It’s important that all Boro fans realise that the Foundation isn’t just for the benefit of people on Tyneside, but across Teesside too, so I hope even more of our fans give their support to the charity.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was launched in March 2008 to help cancer patients in the north east and Cumbria. Its main focus is clinical trials of new cancer drugs within the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

In its first year, over 600 new patients from across the region have been treated there. The Centre treats patients on clinical trials of new cancer drugs including 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.

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.