Friday, 20 July 2012


Geordie royalty Ant and Dec have raced to back former Toon favourite Robbie Elliott in his bid to Bike For Bobby.

This autumn Elliott will cycle 3,500 miles from Lisbon to Tyneside raising funds for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

And Dec said: “We were huge fans of Sir Bobby Robson and were lucky enough to meet him and get to know him. 

“He was a great man and his charity continues to do amazing things in his name, which is what he wanted.”

Ant added: “Unfortunately everyone is affected by cancer at some point in their lives in one way or another. 

“We really admire Robbie’s commitment to raising funds to fight cancer and wish him the very best of luck with Bike For Bobby.”

Earlier this month Elliott came through his first 120-mile ride from Edinburgh to Newcastle alongside fellow Bike For Bobby rider Phil Gray.

“I was a little saddle sore but it wasn’t as bad as I’d anticipated,” said the former Newcastle, Sunderland, Bolton and Hartlepool favourite.

“The thing is I have to do that kind of distance every day for more than three weeks during Bike For Bobby!

“To have the likes of Ant and Dec in my corner is a massive boost. I’ve known the pair of them for years but it’s still incredibly kind of them to support me at this time.”

To make a donation to Bike For Bobby text TREF03 to 70070. For further details on the event and to check out a new video teaser visit

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Pupils at a North Tyneside School have raised an incredible £10,588 for north east cancer charity the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Last year, George Stephenson High School in Killingworth nominated the Foundation as its charity of the year and raised the money through a variety of fund-raising activities.

Alan Shearer, a Patron of the charity, sent a personal message of thanks and signed achievement certificates for pupils to recognise the school’s magnificent fund-raising efforts.

Alan says: “I was hugely impressed to hear about the commitment and enthusiasm both staff and pupils at George Stephenson High School showed towards the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

“When Sir Bobby launched this charity back in 2008 he created something very special.  Representing the Foundation as a Patron is something I take great pride in and never more so than when I hear about dedicated fund-raisers like this.

“To have raised this amount of money is an enormous achievement and everyone involved should be very proud of their efforts.”

Liz Luff from the Foundation collected the cheque and presented certificates to pupils who had been singled out as particularly committed to the fund-raising efforts.

Activities were undertaken throughout the year including supermarket bag packing, non-uniform days, sponsored games, tuck shops, raffles, cake sales, car washing, a fun run, golf day and a charity game-show night.

Head teacher, Ian Wilkinson, says raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was a very positive experience and one which the whole school are proud of.

He says: “We are very proud of our students raising so much money for a fantastic cause. It’s great that they are so willing to get involved and give up so much of their time in order to help others less fortunate than themselves.

“We really appreciate Alan sending a message of thanks and signing the certificates to recognise their achievement.”

Kelly Scott, aged 15 from Burradon, is one of the pupils who helped raise the money. 

She says: “The whole school voted on the charity we wanted to support and I chose the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation because my aunt has cancer.

“Everyone was really enthusiastic about the fund-raising and the non-uniform days went down especially well.  Probably because we sold cakes and sweets at break time.”

Friday, 13 July 2012


A new football themed permanent exhibition was opened yesterday (Thursday 12th July) at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care (NCCC), Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The photography exhibition will enhance the corridor which leads to the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre and has been funded by law firm Ward Hadaway, Sintons Solicitors and the charity Football Aid, Field of Dreams.

'The Football Corridor’ is a series of photographic montages capturing historic football moments as well as more recent events for the region’s clubs.  The images reflect the passion for the game in the north of England and were donated by local media and football clubs.

In addition to Middlesbrough FC, Sunderland AFC and Newcastle United, the exhibition covers 14 north East and Cumbrian clubs from Workington to Bishop Auckland, Dunston to Blyth and Carlisle to Hartlepool.  It also features Sir Bobby's Ipswich Town and England highlights and has been created by NCCC arts advisor Germaine Stanger.

Germaine has been involved in art in hospitals since leaving Northern Arts to become a freelance arts consultant.  Her work has covered many projects in connection with marketing the arts to a wider public and creating opportunities for organisations to incorporate the arts into their projects.

Germaine says: “I’m thrilled to see The Football Corridor come to fruition alongside the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.

“Sir Bobby was proud to receive his treatment at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care and contributed so much to help other people with cancer by setting up his Foundation.

“The Football Corridor is in tribute to him and designed to visually express this region’s passion for the game.

“I gained a great respect for football photography during its creation.  Some photographers manage to catch, in just a split second, balanced compositions full of incredible energy and emotion.  I hope they will interest patients and their families for years to come.”

Patients attend the NCCC for specialist cancer treatment from across the north east and Cumbria.  Fittingly, The Football Corridor is located just outside the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre and Lady Elsie Robson was among guests attending the launch.

Lady Elsie says: “Bob received excellent care at the Freeman Hospital and he was so proud when the new cancer trials centre was named in his honour.

“The Football Corridor is a wonderful idea and looks great.  Like so many people, I’ve experienced that draining feeling of repeated hospital visits and the worry that goes along with them.  Anything which gives patients and their families something to interest them as they walk through the hospital has to be a good thing.

“Germaine’s done a great job bringing together the images and it was good of her and the hospital to invite me to be part of their exhibition opening.”

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


Stephen Turnbull, from Acomb near Hexham, was tormented for years by the map of northern England on his office wall.

The route from Whitehaven to Tynemouth ‘screamed out’ at him to be run until eventually his family’s experiences with cancer pushed him to undertake the challenge to raise funds in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

It took him five days to complete the 123 mile run, during which time he weathered a massive storm, celebrated his 46th birthday and proposed to his girlfriend.

Stephen says: “It’s hard to explain but that map on the office wall has distracted me for ages.  Thinking about doing that coast to coast run just wouldn’t go away.

“Finally I decided to do it because of what cancer has done to my family.  My aunt died from breast cancer, my cousin died aged just 29 and my mum is fighting liver cancer now.  I wanted to do something for them and for other people fighting this terrible disease and finally thought enough is enough, it’s time to stop thinking about it and actually do it.

“I’m a football coach and big fan of Sir Bobby Robson and I immediately thought of raising money for his Foundation.  Cancer was the reason I undertook the challenge and Sir Bobby was the inspiration.” 

Stephen, an IT sales manager and coach of Hexham Greens FC, was supported on his run by girlfriend Helen Hails who followed in a car.

Stephen adds: “I couldn’t have done this without Helen’s help.  The day of the big storm was hilarious.  I just got so wet it was funny.

“The final day was amazing.  I ran 35 miles, which was the furthest I ever have, and was just getting slower and slower. Thinking about my family, Sir Bobby and the people backing me for his charity really helped.

“My head was so full up.  It was my last day and I knew my mum and family would be at the beach, it was also my birthday and I knew I was going to propose to Helen.  But when I got the Tynemouth I was so exhausted all I could think was, I can’t believe the flaming tide’s out, now I’ve got another couple of hundred yards to run!

“Helen came down to the sea with me and I got down on one knee to propose.  Thankfully she said yes and the first thing she did as my fiancĂ© was to help me get back up.

“It was an incredibly tough challenge and for my next birthday I think I’ll just eat some cake.  But I enjoyed it a lot and the money raised made it all worthwhile.  It was an unforgettable experience.”

Stephen’s target for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was £500 and he has gone on to raise over £1,500.

The money will directly benefit people in the north east and Cumbria fighting cancer and will contribute to the international search for more effective treatments for the disease.

Pauline Buglass, head of fund-raising for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, says: “Stephen’s efforts for the Foundation are greatly appreciated.

“He’s taken on an incredibly hard challenge and seen it through to the end.  He should be very proud of his achievement and we’re very grateful to him and everyone who has sponsored him.”

Stephen’s JustGiving page is at