FOR more than a decade, a group of friends from in and around Whickham have been fundraising for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation with an annual bike ride called Three Days for Bobby.

This year, because of the Covid-19 restrictions, the ride seemed impossible and when golf became one of the earliest sporting activities permitted it gave rise to a new fundraising idea and the Three Days for Bobby 24-Hour Golf Challenge was born.

The four of the friends took on the challenge at Whickham Golf Club were Darren McCaig, Andrew Mitchell, Jamie Robson and Steve Wilkinson.

They played a total of six continuous rounds, from noon until noon the next day.

Walking more than 40 kilometres, they played throughout the night using torches and special luminous golf balls after dark.

All four of the golfers successfully completed the challenge, which was even tougher than they expected, raising over £4,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation to find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer.

Speaking after the last ball was putted, Darren McCaig said: “We’re all very, very tired with lots of aches and pains but definitely worth it.

“By the morning, swinging the club, picking the ball up, putting the tee down, all the normal golf things, became really hard work. It was a totally different experience and certainly the most difficult sporting thing any of us have ever done. We’re very proud to have finished it.”

As Covid-19 restrictions eased, the planned Three Days for Bobby Bike Ride also went ahead, with a smaller number of cyclists than planned and riding in ‘bubbles’ to limit social interaction.

The bike ride raised over £6,000 and, including the golfing fundraising, this means Three Days for Bobby raised more than £10,000 this year. A great achievement at any time but very special given the difficult circumstances this year.