For the first time, one of this country’s most famous items of sporting memorabilia is on public display.
For the next few weeks, the iconic grey suit Sir Bobby Robson wore to lead England so tantalisingly close to World Cup glory at Italia ‘90 will be on show in Newcastle.
It is the first time the suit has been available for public viewing and is sure to prove a draw for football fans and anyone doing their Christmas shopping in the city centre.
The suit is on display in JG Windows, within the historic Central Arcade, to promote the sale of the Another (K)Night to Remember DVD, which is raising funds for the football legend’s cancer charity.
For generations of football fans, seeing it will evoke memories of what was a very special World Cup campaign when a squad featuring local players - Chris Waddle, Paul Gascoigne, Bryan Robson and Peter Beardsley - came so close to reaching the World Cup final.
The heart wrenching moment when Sir Bobby watched his side go out on penalties in the semi-final against West Germany is etched into English football history.
Helen Mawson of JG Windows says: “We’re thrilled to have such a special piece of footballing history on display here.
“We were thinking of ways to promote the fact we’re selling the Another (K)Night to Remember DVD in the run up to Christmas and asked Lady Elsie for help.
“It’s extremely kind of her to lend us her husband’s suit and we hope it will attract a lot of interest in the DVD, which will then help the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”
Another (K)Night to Remember includes all the highlights from Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration, a very special evening of music, memories and laughter when family, friends, musicians, comedians, football greats and admirers gathered at The Sage Gateshead to remember Sir Bobby on the night he would have turned 80.
Tickets for the event, which was supported by Virgin Money, sold out within hours and Sir Bobby’s son Mark described it as “one of the best nights of my life.”
Hosted by Jim Rosenthal and former Lindisfarne singer Billy Mitchell, Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration featured an amazing line-up of performers and football greats including Mark Knopfler, England legend Stuart Pearce, Joe McElderry, Northern Sinfonia - Orchestra of The Sage Gateshead, The Unthanks, Russell Watson, Alistair McGowan, Peter Brewis of Field Music, The Cornshed Sisters, Paul Smith of Maximo Park, Ruby Turner, Faryl Smith, Scarlet Street, Ben Ottewell of Gomez, Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas and Newcastle United’s Alan Pardew, Shola Ameobi and Steve Harper.
Now, thanks to this DVD, Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration can be enjoyed by a much wider audience and features a host of funny and moving extra interviews and from the likes of Paul Gascoigne, Bob Moncur, Alan Shearer and Lady Elsie.
Lady Elsie says: “The celebration on my husband’s birthday was a marvellous night and I’m glad I have this DVD to remind me of it. It had a bit of everything, comedy, music and football. The calibre of performers was breathtaking really. Bob would have been in his element.
“The team who organised the celebration event and this DVD have worked so hard to make sure it was all done right. They gave up their time to help free of charge, as did the people who performed, and we’re very grateful to them all.
“It’s lovely that people who were unable to attend the night itself can still enjoy it through this DVD and help the charity in the process. Let’s hope it ends up under a lot of Christmas trees this year.”
The event was organised by a dedicated and experienced team working on a voluntary basis. They are music promoter, Adam Collerton; award-winning director, Geoff Wonfor; football and media producer, Oliver Fowler; tour manager, Sue Collier and event producer, Ray Laidlaw, formerly of Lindisfarne.
The team received tremendous support from The Sage Gateshead, performers, guests, local businesses and the football community - including Sir Bobby’s former clubs, FIFA, UEFA and The Football Association.
Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in 2008 to help find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer – including the clinical trials of new drugs.
An ideal Christmas present, Another (K)Night to Remember is available via http://www.mawson-wareham.com/product.php?prodid=127 and in Windows, Newcastle, MetroCentre and Darlington priced at £16.99. It is also available in T&G Alan, Morpeth, That’s Entertainment in Dalton Park and Royal Quays, HMV throughout the region and Gojo in Hexham.