SIR Bobby Robson Foundation patron Steve Harper has visited the Great North Children’s Hospital.

As well as meeting young patients in the paediatric cancer wards, former Newcastle footballer Steve was interviewed by another goalkeeper, seven-year-old Ben Wickens, who plays for Rothbury and Morpeth Town Juniors. Ben had prepared his questions with the help of Gareth Williams, project co-ordinator within the children’s cancer wards – a new role, which is funded by the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and delivered in partnership with the Newcastle United Foundation.

Steve, who is also a patron of the Newcastle United Foundation, said: “When you see kids suffering from leukaemia, from cancer, it puts things in perspective. It really does ground you in what’s important in life.”

Ben was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid leukaemia on January 1. Mum, Claire Wickens, said: “Gareth has such a positive effect on Ben. He’s amazing and even managed to find us last week when we were moved to a surgical ward while Ben came round from his operation. It just massively helps having Gareth around. Even on the most horrendous days, even if he’s spends half an hour with him, ten minutes, or however long, it just gives Ben a boost and motivates him.”

Sir Bobby Robson launched his foundation in 2008 and it raised more than £11m to find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer.