Monday, 23 April 2012


Football legend Sir Bobby Robson is certainly the most famous former pupil of Langley Park Primary School in County Durham – and this week the school had a visit from two more Newcastle United stars.

Staff and pupils are very proud of their association with Sir Bobby, who began his working life as an apprentice electrician down Langley Park Colliery and went on to represent his country as a football player and manager.

Head teacher, Dorothy Brennan, is hopeful that the children currently attending the school will be inspired by Sir Bobby’s success and will work equally hard to achieve their own ambitions.

And to help motivate them even further, two Newcastle United players visited the school this week to share their own memories of Sir Bobby with the pupils.

Shola Ameobi and Steve Harper both played under Sir Bobby when he was manager of Newcastle United.  It was a moving experience for them to spend time in the former pit village where he grew up and attended what was then Langley Park Infants School – and now Langley Park Primary School.

The school has 225 pupils aged between 3 and 11-years-old who were thrilled to discover Steve and Shola were guests at their afternoon assembly.

Miss Brennan says: “Sir Bobby is an excellent example of someone who went on to achieve great success through perseverance and effort.  We have a school full of very talented young people and we want to see them go on to achieve success in whatever walk of life they choose.

“We’re extremely grateful to Steve and Shola for taking the time to talk to our pupils.  They were very motivated by their visit, which will live long in the memory.

“I feel sure Sir Bobby would be proud to know his former players had come to his home village to inspire the next generation of pupils at Langley Park Primary School.”

The school has also been remembering Sir Bobby by raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Steve and Shola were pleased to collect a cheque for £700 on behalf of the north east cancer charity.

The money was raised through a pupils versus teachers penalty shoot out and a dress in sporty clothing day. The eight winners, one from each class, of the most unusual sporting outfits received a signed football as a prize.

After assembly, Steve and Shola visited Year 4 class to talk about their own experiences and how they achieved their ambitions through determination and hard work.

Shola says: "Sir Bobby set up his Foundation to do great things and it's wonderful to see kids - and particularly kids from the village where he grew up - taking it upon themselves to try and help.

“It's fantastic to see that they are raising money and you can feel the love and inspiration that Bobby still brings out of people. The whole place clearly looks up to him. I know that he would be very proud of that.

“It was really special to visit his old school and I'd like to thank the pupils and staff for their efforts on behalf of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”

Steve says: “You can tell that the whole of Langley Park is proud of the association with Sir Bobby and rightly so.

“Even kids who are too little to remember him have heard the tales and stories of this local lad growing up, being proud of the area, going on to manage his country and to work at all these fantastic football clubs throughout Europe before coming home and doing well here, too.

“It's fantastic for them that they have this role model to look up to, to feel proud of and, in turn, they've taken a vested interest in raising money for his Foundation, which continues to do vital work."

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