Tuesday, 28 June 2011


A unique auction and ball in memory of former England football manager Sir Bobby Robson and breast cancer campaigner Sally Balch are being held this October. The event aims to raise a fantastic £250,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The Sir Bobby Breakthrough Auction and Ball will be held 30 years after one of the legendary manager’s greatest achievements, winning the UEFA Cup with Ipswich Town in 1981. The auction will run for two weeks during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, from 8-23 October 2011. The ball takes place at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on 20 October.

Sally Balch was a founding member of the Breakthrough Suffolk group and died of breast cancer in 2004. Sir Bobby died of cancer in 2009 following a long fight with the disease.

Gina Long, event founder and chair of Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s West Suffolk group, said: “We all loved Sally and Sir Bobby and so we wanted to hold an event to remember them by. This auction and ball is a spectacular way to raise money for the causes they were so passionate about.

“We have been overwhelmed by support and want to encourage companies and individuals to get involved with our very special Auction and Ball by generously becoming a sponsor or auction prize donor – it really will make the biggest difference in helping create hugely successful events that will do Sally and Sir Bobby proud.”

The event is endorsed and backed by the FA Chairman David Bernstein, the Robson family and Delia Smith, who will be attending the ball, as well as former Ipswich stars, including Mick Mills, Ipswich captain for 10 years during Sir Bobby’s reign as manager.

Mick Mills MBE, now a patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, said: “All of the players are delighted to support this wonderful auction and ball in memory of Sir Bobby. We are so pleased to celebrate his life here in Suffolk where he made his name. This event is a great way of reminding people of the way he made Ipswich into one of the best teams in Europe, while raising money for a good cause.”

The auction, organised by the respected auctioneers Lacy Scott & Knight, will have “money can’t buy prizes’. A host of sporting clubs, sporting stars, celebrities and companies will be providing auction prizes with details to be revealed in the run-up to October.

Former Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks, who is also on the organising committee, said: “This promises to be a wonderful event in memory of a truly wonderful man and an extremely special lady.

“The auction and ball will raise tens of thousands of pounds for two charities that do an awful amount of good work.”

Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “Sir Bobby Robson and Sally Balch were two inspirational people and the memory of both has driven this remarkable fundraising effort. Everyone who supports this event can be sure their money will be spent trying to find new cancer treatments to fight this terrible disease. There is much more to be done but with the public’s support we can achieve a future free from the fear of breast cancer.”

Gina is delighted that invited key business leaders and highly regarded individuals, have joined the official committee to deliver the Auction and Ball: Between them they have created a platform to raise significant funds to support the work of Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Members of the committee; Mark Robson (Chair), Gina Long (Founder), David Sheepshanks, Terry Hunt, Laura Hudson, Austin Cornish, Edward Crichton, Adam Clark, Richard Lindsey, Stephen Foster, Harry Berry, Matt Cable, Mick Mills MBE.

For more information on how to donate go to: www.sirbobbysbreakthroughauction.com