- A National Football Day in Sir Bobby Robson’s honour created for 150th anniversary of The FA -
The Football Association has today unveiled full plans for The Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day on Saturday 10 August 2013 – a call for people to come together in celebration of the nation’s favourite game and one of English football’s most iconic figures.
The day will see 150 events taking place across the country as part of The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations - providing a showcase of The FA’s work at a grassroots level and giving the entire nation the opportunity to get involved with the sport. The events, being held by County FA’s and FA Charter Standard Clubs, will be open to people of all ages and abilities, with the public able to join in everything from tournaments, to skills sessions and coaching workshops. The day will provide a focus on every aspect of the game including women’s football, disability football, refereeing and coaching.
A highlight of the day will be at the Sir Bobby Robson Football Centre in Ushaw Moor, County Durham, near to where the former England manager played as a youngster. The event will be attended by Lady Elsie Robson and will involve various activities including a children’s football tournament, a coaching clinic, skills sessions, and the chance to try out futsal. The FA will also make a donation on the day to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the charity he established during the last 18 months of his life to fight cancer.
Lady Elsie Robson, Sir Bobby’s widow, said: “I’m sure Bob would have been thrilled having a National Football Day named in his honour.
“He was always so incredibly passionate about football. He just loved it, whatever level it was being played at. He was lucky enough to play and manage at the top of the game but he was just as enthusiastic talking to youngsters about their junior club matches.
“It’s a lovely gesture from the FA and we’re very grateful for their generous support of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation too.”
Former England captain and patron of The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Alan Shearer said: “Sir Bobby sums up everything that is great about English football. From elite success – guiding England in their best World Cup showing on foreign soil and top club honours in England, Spain, Portugal and Holland – to his love for the grassroots game and natural affinity with the fan in the street. On a national and international level, his contribution to football cannot be underestimated.”
Other planned events for 10th August include a women’s football festival at the home of English football, St George’s Park, a beach soccer event in Dorset, a Respect event at Netherton United in Peterborough, and a tournament and coaching session at AC Paulista FC in Lewisham, London. Many of the events have been planned and will be managed by county FA youth councils and volunteer coaches– just some of the people who form part of the huge volunteer network of 400,000 people in grassroots football.
A number of famous faces who knew Sir Bobby Robson, including Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker and Pep Guardiola have taken part in a short film to launch National Football Day. The film can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/Ccxu_ThWCjI
To find out more Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day and your local event and The FA’s work developing football for everyone, visit www.TheFA.com/nationalfootballday.
Sir Trevor Brooking, The FA's Director Of Football Development, said: “The Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day has been created as part of our 150th anniversary celebrations to showcase the nation’s love for the game and the huge number of people who get involved in football every week, whether that’s playing, coaching, volunteering or refereeing. This day will shine a light on the sheer breadth of the nation’s favourite game and we hope it will encourage more people to get involved. Whether you visit one of the planned 150 events or simply head to your garden or local park with family and friends, there’s no better day to get into football.”
This October, the FA is once again supporting Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction. Organised entirely by volunteers, this online auction will raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and cancer services within Suffolk Hospitals. For more information about how to get involved please visit www.sirbobbysbreakthrough.com.