Former Newcastle United favourite Robbie Elliott and his triathlete pal Phil Gray have finally completed their mammoth Bike For Bobby charity challenge.
And after 3,500 miles in the saddle – cycling non-stop from Lisbon to Newcastle for the last 25 days – Sir Bobby Robson’s widow, Lady Elsie, was at St James’s Park to welcome home the brave duo.
Elliott and Gray embarked on their incredible journey to raise funds for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
And after visiting each of Sir Bobby’s former clubs during the last month they were guests of Newcastle United at this afternoon’s (Sunday, November 11) Premier League clash between the Magpies and West Ham United.
“I’m very proud of what Robbie, Phil and all the Bike For Bobby team have gone through to raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer,” said Lady Elsie.
“To have cycled all that way through illness, injury and awful weather is an amazing achievement.
“When Robbie first told me about his plan I was worried about the distance. I’ve travelled between all those clubs myself with Bob so I know how far it is. I thought they were very brave to consider doing it all on just a bike.
“It’s good to hear about the wonderful reception each club gave them and I’m relieved they’re all back safe and sound.
“And I know my husband would be extremely touched by the commitment of Robbie, Phil and all the volunteers who gave up their time for Bike For Bobby. They’ve truly gone the extra mile and everyone connected to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is extremely grateful.”
Elliott and Gray arrived in Ponteland yesterday (Saturday, November 10) to take part in the inaugural Bike For Bobby Cycle Sportive – marking the official end of Bike For Bobby.
Paul Gascoigne was a surprise visitor after hearing of the pair’s feat in memory of Sir Bobby.
“To have people like Lady Elsie and Gazza supporting us means so much,” said Elliott.
“It feels great to be back where we belong and actually see the support for us in our home city.
“We have been welcomed by Sir Bobby’s former clubs across Europe and back home.
“But knowing the people of Newcastle are right behind us is the icing on the cake. This is where it all started for me, Gazza and Sir Bobby and St James’s Park was always the target that kept us going when the going got tough.”
With Bike For Bobby over, attention now turns to Tuesday night’s celebratory Quireboys concert at Newcastle’s Cluny venue.
Million-selling Newcastle band the Quireboys penned the official Biking For Bobby song last month and will play it live for the first time this week – with Elliott and Gray as special guests.