Monday, 15 August 2011


A very special charity football match took place on Sunday (14th August) with Newcastle United fans taking on Sunderland AFC fans at Harton Technology College, South Shields, to decide the ‘fans derby.’

The game was in memory of 22-year-old father of two, Jamie Wright from South Shields, who died suddenly last month of unknown causes.

Both teams wore their respective club kits and players donated money to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in recognition of Jamie’s passion for football and Newcastle United – and on this occasion it was Sunderland AFC who won the match.

Players included Jamie’s brother Jordan Wright who says: “It’s a fitting tribute to my kid as he taught me to play football because our dad was ill.

“Jamie was a massive toon fan and even though he had agoraphobia he would try his best to get to games.

“I think giving all the proceeds to charity is what he would want as he was a giving and very caring person.”

The game came just six days before the official derby when Newcastle United travel to the Stadium of Light in the Premier League.

With local bragging rights up for grabs it was a very competitive match including a disallowed goal and two missed penalties. The Sunderland fans team eventually claimed the trophy winning 2 – 1 and the match raised over £500 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Before the game the players and crowd joined together for a minute’s applause to remember Jamie and it was officially kicked off by former Newcastle United player Olivier Bernard.

Liz Luff, from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, says: “It was a fantastic match and a very special way to remember Jamie.

“It was wonderful to see players and fans in red and white and black and white uniting behind a common cause and the game was played in a very positive spirit.

“The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation funds projects which help people fighting cancer from all across our region and we’re very grateful to everyone who contributed at the fan’s derby for their support.”

Since its launch in March 2008, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has raised £3.5 million to help find more effective treatments for cancer. It funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, which directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria.

In addition to equipping the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle, the charity has also funded a specialist clinical research nurse and research doctor within the Sir Bobby Centre.

It has funded leukaemia laboratory research equipment and contributed to the Royal Victoria Infirmary’s teenage cancer unit in Newcastle.

It has also enhanced a children’s waiting area, jointly funded a patient ‘quiet and information area’ with help from Macmillan Cancer Support and part funded a complementary therapy programme providing symptom relief for cancer patients – all at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care.

It is also working with Newcastle University and has purchased an ultra-compact cyclotron which will help with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The cyclotron costs in excess of £500,000 and is only the second of its type in the world and the first in Europe.