Celebrities gather at Rockliffe Hall for golf day in memory of Sir Bobby Robson

The Northern Echo: Alan Shearer with Paul Devine, who flew from Texas to take part Alan Shearer with Paul Devine, who flew from Texas to take part

HE may not have made the longest drive at the annual Sir Bobby Robson Celebrity Golf Day, but Paul Devine walked away with honours for the longest flight.

Businessman Mr Devine, originally from Wallsend, North Tyneside, lives in the US state of Texas, but was determined to turn out to honour the former Newcastle and England manager at Rockliffe Hall Golf Club, in Hurworth, near Darlington.

Joining a number of celebrities, including former Newcastle United player Alan Shearer, Mr Devine flew 4,500 miles to help raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation yesterday. The 45-yearold said: “I came first and foremost for the charity. It’s a very worthy cause.

“I have a personal reason for coming also – I lost my mother to breast cancer in 1999 and my wife is currently in remission. Although millions are raised each year for the foundation, I don’t think we can do enough for it.”

Joining Mr Devine and Shearer on the tee were the likes of Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole and Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray.

Twenty-five teams of four took part in the event, which ended with a meal in Rockliffe Hall Hotel.

Sir Bobby, who fought cancer five times, set up the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in 2008 with his wife, Lady Elsie, to raise an initial £500,000.

The money was required to equip a cancer trials research centre at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and was raised in only seven weeks.

Sir Bobby died in July 2009 and, since then, the fund has raised more than £4m.

Lady Elsie, who attended the event yesterday, said: “I am very pleased to be doing this golf day for a second year.

“The event has been wonderfully well-supported once again by the region’s football clubs and former footballers, including our patron, Alan Shearer, and we are very grateful to all of them.

“It’s a nice opportunity for representatives of the different football clubs in the area to come together and have a relaxed day, and we are proud that they are doing so in my husband’s name.”

Shearer said: “It’s great to be back here again and have a little fun on the golf course.

“I spent many years with Bobby; on the golf course, at the bar drinking with him. He meant so much to so many people, and achieved a lot in his life.”

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