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."

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


A team mate of former Newcastle United midfielder Gary Speed is fund-raising for charity in his memory.

Matt Jones from Llanelli played with Gary at Leeds United and in the Welsh national side. To raise money for good causes, he will be running a half marathon around the pitch at Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium ahead of Newcastle United’s Premier League game there on Friday (6th April).

And it is not the only fund-raising activity Matt has undertaken or has planned. His own football career was cut short by a spinal injury and he was already planning to run the London Marathon to raise funds for the Spinal Injuries Association when Gary died.

Matt was so devastated by the news that he vowed to increase his fund-raising efforts in tribute to his friend and is now also raising funds for the John Hartson Foundation and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation – two charities which Gary supported.

Matt says: “I’m dedicating this year to Gary’s memory and doing whatever I can to raise money for charity.

“I was completely shocked by Gary’s death and I want to do something to show much he meant to me and to help causes which I know meant a lot to him.

“Gary ran the London Marathon for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and I like to think I’m picking up the work he started.”

Matt has already run half marathons around the pitch at Leicester and Leeds, ran in the Llanelli half marathon and ran a marathon ahead of the recent international match between Wales and Costa Rica, which ended on the pitch.

Matt adds: “The marathon was a major achievement for me. I was so proud to get a big hug off Gary’s mum when I finished. She said she thought he would be very proud of me and honestly, hearing that, I could have gone back out there and ran another 26 miles.

“It’s hard doing the running around a football pitch. Depending on the ground, it’s about 68 laps for the half marathon. It’s not easy keeping turning all the time and I’ve developed a sore knee as a result. Physically it’s hard but mentally I can do this because I know it’s for Gary.

"Something that I learnt from him was that the majority of us are born without a natural gift and we all have to work our socks off to gain anything. As I've grown older I’ve seen further into Gaz's meaning.

“Gary was someone who certainly proved this in his playing career and later in his coaching and managerial careers.

"Now I want to prove that I can do this. I've set my goals and I will work hard to reach my target.

"Thanks to everyone who has already made a contribution regardless of how small it is. Every penny counts and I really do appreciate it.”

Matt has already raised over £4,000 and his target is £10,000 to divide between the Spinal Injuries Association, the John Hartson Foundation and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

In addition to Friday’s half marathon at Swansea and the London Marathon, he plans to run up and down Snowdonia (the highest mountain in Wales), host a fund-raising dinner, do a 24 hour static bike ride at a local Tesco and deliver each cheque in person to the three charities by bike.

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Monday, 2 April 2012


An evening of laughter and entertainment in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is promised at Rainton Meadows Arena, Houghton-le-Spring, this May.

The team behind the hugely successful Night of All Knights charity night in 2008, which raised an incredible £185,000, is hosting a glamorous fund-raising dinner with entertainment provided by comedian and impressionist Bobby Davro and former football player, manager and pundit Ron Atkinson.

One of the first guests to pledge support by attending the dinner is Sunderland AFC manager Martin O’Neill and event organiser Michael Roseberry hopes the evening will be a very memorable one, calling the event Another Night to Remember.

Michael says: “We’re planning an evening which we hope will live long in the memory of all our guests and we’re thrilled that Martin will be attending.

“After the success of the Night of All Knights it’s always been in our minds to host another charity night for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. That was an amazing evening and featured Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Mick Hucknall and, of course, Sir Bobby Robson.

“This time we thought we’d do something a bit different and comedy seemed to be the obvious choice. Bobby Davro brings the house down wherever he performs and we’re over the moon that he’s agreed to take part.

“The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is a cause which is close to my heart and the timing feels right to hold another event to help out.”

This week the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation announced it has broken through the £4 million fund-raising barrier.

The charity 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.

Pauline Buglass, head of fund-raising for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation says: “We’re so pleased that Michael is hosting another night in aid of the Foundation. He raised an enormous amount of money for the charity last time round and created an extremely special event.

“No doubt Another Night to Remember will be equally special and with Bobby Davro and ‘Big Ron’ on the bill I’m sure it will be extremely funny too.

“Bobby was a great favourite of Sir Bobby and it’s the second time he’s been kind enough to support the Foundation.

“When he performed at St James’ Park at the dinner Newcastle United held for the Foundation in 2008 he had everyone, including Sir Bobby, in stitches. I’ve no doubt Another Night to Remember will be just as enjoyable.”

Another Night to Remember will be hosted by ITV’s Philippa Tomson and held at Rainton Meadows Arena on Friday 11th May 2012.

Tickets are on sale now priced from £1,080 for a table of 12 and include a champagne reception, four course dinner, auction, comedy and music. Dress code is black tie and premium seating and sponsor packages are available.

For further information or to reserve a table please call 0191 584 8630