Friday, 29 April 2011


Club allegiances were put to one side this week as football united to support a very special golf day in aid of cancer charity the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The Sir Bobby Robson Celebrity Golf Day, sponsored by Goldchip, was supported by all of the charity’s high profile Patrons – Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson, Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer, Sunderland AFC chairman Niall Quinn and Sir Bobby’s Ipswich Town captain Mick Mills.

In addition, the charity event was generously supported by Hartlepool United, Sunderland AFC, Newcastle United, Leeds United and Middlesbrough football clubs who all entered teams into the golf which included players, former players and management.

As well as making The Sir Bobby Robson Celebrity Golf Day a truly regional event, their involvement ensured a strong competitive spirit out on the course as they competed alongside teams from local businesses for the trophy.

Lady Elsie Robson says: “I’m thrilled by the generous support from the region’s football clubs and Mick Mills coming all the way from Suffolk. We really appreciate all the efforts they’ve made to join us today.

“I’m also very grateful to everyone who has helped us by contributing auction prizes, buying tickets and raising awareness of The Sir Bobby Robson Celebrity Golf Day.

“The money raised will help fund the search for more effective treatments for cancer and will help those people who are currently fighting this terrible disease.

“I know my husband would be very proud to have this wonderful charity event staged in his name.”

In addition to the charity’s Patrons, footballers, former players, executives, managers and coaching staff involved included Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley, Lee Cattermole, Craig Gordon, Michael Turner and Steve Bruce - Middlesbrough’s Matthew Bates, Andrew Taylor, Jason Steele and Adam Johnston who travelled from Manchester to take part.

Hartlepool United’s team comprised Mick Wadsworth, Micky Barron, Ritchie Humphreys and Russ Green and Leeds United’s was made up of Alex Bruce, Billy Paynter, Paul Connolly and Ross McCormack.

In addition, Newcastle United was represented by Mick Martin, John Beresford, Gary Speed, Alan Pardew, John Carver, Steve Stone, Andy Woodman, Ryan Taylor, Alan Smith, Shefki Kuqi, Shola Ameobi, James Perch, Tim Krul, Peter Lovenkrands, Steven Taylor, Steve Harper and Joey Barton.

Steve Gibson, chairman of Middlesbrough and a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation said:
“Newcastle was Sir Bobby’s first love there’s no doubt about that but he had a great fondness for Middlesbrough and Sunderland and he loved North East football.

“We don’t want to rest on what’s been achieved. We’d rather focus on that which can still be achieved so that we can make funds available to those who have the ability to make cancer research better.”

Mick Wadsworth, manager of Hartlepool United, worked with Sir Bobby for England and Newcastle United. He said of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation: “He put so much effort into this along with Lady Elsie, his family and the people at the hospital.

“It became a massive thing for him. It’s going to be here for a long, long time and always well supported.”

Alan Shearer, Newcastle United legend and a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation said: “We’re at over £3 million now and that’s an incredible amount and an incredible achievement. It’s been a lot of hard work from a lot of people but that’s what everyone promised Sir Bobby before he left us.

“We’re going to continue working very hard and hopefully the money will keep coming in. I’m sure it will.”

Niall Quinn, Sunderland chairman and a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, said of Sir Bobby: “He’s about the only person I knew in my lifetime that can get Sunderland people, Newcastle people and Middlesbrough people to come out and pat each other on the back and say nice things to each other.

“And when you think about the good work which is coming out of it as well it’s incredible – a measure of the man.

“Sir Bobby spent a lot of time towards the end of his life going to Sunderland games and our boardroom. He’d have the salt and pepper and be moving them about as players and the winger would be the butter dish. And he was incredible.”

Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper is an active supporter of the charity and played under Sir Bobby. He said of him: “He would have loved to have been here today. Me and Alan Shearer played him and Charlie Woods at golf once and lost as Charlie’s just reminded me.

“It would’ve been nice to get our revenge today but it was just not to be.

“Sir Bobby promoted North East football. He went to watch Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool and took a keen interest in supporting all the North East teams. Hence the turn out you see from those clubs here today.”

The winners of the first Sir Bobby Robson Celebrity Golf Day were Leeds United, Sunderland AFC were runners up with an NUFC team in third place.

After playing in the sell out golf day, guests went on to enjoy dinner at the stunning five-star Rockliffe Hall Hotel, including entertainment from comedian Paul Squires, a very special auction and live swing music from Cole Page.

Auction lots included a week’s stay in a luxury four bedroom villa in the Bahamas, rare limited edition and signed autobiographies by both George Best and Pele, tickets to see the sold-out Take That concert at the Stadium of Light and a painting by renowned County Durham pitman artist Tom Lamb entitled ‘From Darkness into Light’ created especially for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.