Thursday, 31 May 2012


With Euro 2012 and the Olympics coming up, this summer offers a feast of football for spectators. 

And for football fans who want to take a more active part in the game, there are two opportunities to play and help the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in the coming weeks.

Craig Ball, from Northumberland, and Ian Carr, from Gateshead, have both organised five-a-side football competitions in aid of the charity in June and July and jointly aim to raise funds to fight cancer while promoting the five-a-side form of the game.

Craig’s competition, The Blaydon Races 150 Tournament, is open to men’s and women’s teams and will be held at Complete Football in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, on 9th June.

Craig says: “Initially I chose the 9th June for the competition because it’s the first weekend of Euro 2012 and thought it would be a good way to ‘warm up’ for the tournament.

“I’ve just returned to the north east from working in South Korea for a few years and when someone pointed out the significance of that date I decided to get involved with the Blaydon Races 150th anniversary too. 

“We’re all looking forward to the football, raising some money for a really important cause and celebrating the Blaydon Races’ heritage too.”

Ian Carr is becoming a veteran Sir Bobby Robson Foundation fund-raiser and this is the fourth year he and his colleague Neal Eddy have organised the Robson 5s tournament held at Soccerworld, West Road Newcastle.

This years’ event is being held on 1 July and is once again open to men’s, women’s and junior teams and is being supported by players from across the region.

Ian says: “Every year we’ve had teams made up of Newcastle, Boro and Sunderland supporters, which adds to the competitive feel of the day and this time we’ve got our first Cumbrian entry with a team coming from Carlisle.

“The tournament’s always played in a great spirit and is a lot of fun but when local pride is at stake you know the teams are going to be trying their best.

“It’s important for us to feel we’re doing our bit to help the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation through the competition.  Feedback about the day, and giving five-a-side players the chance to support the Foundation, is always good and we’re hoping this year will be another special event.”

Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in 2008 and it has gone on to raise £4,095,264 to help find more effective treatments for cancer.

It funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria, and which contribute significantly to research into the disease.

Professor Ruth Plummer was Sir Bobby’s oncologist and is director of the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre and a trustee of the Foundation.

Commenting from the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting (ASCO) in Chicago, USA, where she is involved in presentations about trials work being done at the Sir Bobby Robson Centre in partnership with trials units at Royal Marsden, Cambridge, Beatson Glasgow, Christie Manchester, Leeds, Oxford, and Kings London, Professor Plummer says: “Clinicians like myself who work directly with patients see the benefits of the Foundation first hand and on a daily basis. 

“It’s making a huge difference to the lives of people fighting cancer and that’s exactly what Sir Bobby hoped would happen when he set up this charity.  We’re understanding more about cancer as a disease as research progresses and this is leading to new treatments being developed, which really help patients battle this terrible disease.

“The work we’ve funded through the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, and the work we’re looking at funding in the near future, is completely dependent on money raised through events like those being organised by Craig and Ian.

“We’re very grateful to all our fund-raisers and everyone who has made a donation to support our work.”

Further information about The Blaydon Races 150 Tournament on 9th June can be found at, while information about the Robson 5s can be found at

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