THE Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has broken the £7m mark on its sixth anniversary.
The cancer charity founded by the legendary former Newcastle and England manager, who died of the disease, enjoyed its best year of fund-raising so far.
The total raised since March 2008 is £7,028,352 compared with last year’s total which came to more than £5m.
The Foundation, which helps find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer, directly benefits North-East cancer patients and is part of the wider, international research into the disease.
It has also equipped the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care (NCCC) at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
Sir Bobby’s widow, Lady Elsie said: “To have raised this much, well it’s breathtaking really.
“We’ve had such tremendous support from so many people. I know Bob would be as amazed as I am.
“As a fund within a hospital’s charity, we rely completely on the general public to raise money for us.
“The generosity we’ve encountered over the last six years, and I mean generosity of time and effort, not just money, has been incredible.
“It’s a privilege to meet with fundraisers and to hear the trouble they’ve gone to.
“So often they have a personal reason to want to support a cancer charity. It means a lot to me to see their pride when we talk about the work we’ve funded through the Foundation thanks to their help.
“It really is a fantastic team effort and we’re very grateful to everyone who has contributed.”
Last year saw major events like Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration at The Sage, Gateshead, Stephen Harmison’s Benefit Year, Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction, the FA’s Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day, and Steve Harper’s charity match at St James’ Park.
Newcastle Building Society’s Sir Bobby Robson Foundation ISA and Saver accounts raised more than £700,000 since 2012.
Tremendous individual fund-raising efforts included Tony ‘the Fridge’ Phoenix-Morrison running the length of the country carrying a 42kg fridge, Paul Smith running 65 miles between the North-East’s football league clubs in the depths of winter and Mark ‘Run Geordie Run’ Allison completing a coast-to-coast run across Australia.