Sir Bobby’s Foundation raises £5m in five years

SIR BOBBY ROBSON ... the Foundation bearing his name has topped �5m.
SIR BOBBY ROBSON ... the Foundation bearing his name has topped �5m.

THE cancer charity launched by ex-Newcastle United boss Sir Bobby Robson announced it has raised £5.2m in five years.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation - launched by the former England manager to help find better ways to detect and treat cancer - is five years old today.

And it revealed it is celebrating another significant milestone after topping the £5m fundraising mark - 10 times the target set by Sir Bobby in 2008.

The football legend launched the Foundation after an appeal for help from his oncologist Professor Ruth Plummer, who was treating him for his fifth, and what he knew would be his final time facing cancer.

He was receiving treatment in what was the clinical trials unit at Newcastle’s General Hospital.

The trials team was moving to a new purpose-built unit at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital and needed £500,000 to equip the centre.

Rather than simply supply the names of likely donors, as Prof Plummer had asked, Sir Bobby and his wife Lady Elsie responded by launching a charity to get the money she needed.

Just seven weeks after its launch, the Foundation had raised the £500,000, and in February 2009 Sir Bobby officially opened the Cancer Trials Research Centre bearing his name.

Sir Bobby said he would give up a year of his life to the charity.

In fact he became so passionate about it that, despite being very ill, he spent his last 18 months doing all he could to raise funds to help others with cancer.

He said he hoped it would become his legacy.

It is a legacy which continues to grow and has funded world-class cancer facilities within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that directly benefit cancer patients from across north east England and Cumbria - and which contribute significantly to international efforts and research into fighting the disease.

Prof Plummer adds: “Sir Bobby always had an eye on what we could do if we raised more than £500,000.

“I think he’d be amazed at just how much more we’ve been able to do.

“The specialist cancer equipment and staff we’ve been able to fund as a result of the charity is making a tremendous difference to patients.

“The scientists, nurses, doctors, in fact everyone who is involved in treating and caring for patients are just so appreciative of the help we get thanks to the generosity of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation’s supporters.

“Sir Bobby was a great inspiration to everyone at the Sir Bobby Centre, and his charity is a legacy worthy of his name. We’re grateful to him every day.”

Patron Alan Shearer said: “Sir Bobby set off to raise £500,000, so for his charity to have raised over £5m is a staggering achievement.

“I’m proud to be a patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, and I’ve been privileged to meet some amazing people through the charity.

“Cancer affects everybody differently. For some people, like Sir Bobby, it becomes a challenge.

“We all know that sometimes it’s just not possible to beat the disease, but I’ve met lots of people who have dug in regardless.

“People who know that by helping the Foundation they’re helping others who will have cancer in years to come.

“The work the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has funded over the past five years is incredible and really pushing the boundaries of how we detect and treat cancer.

“I’ve no doubts the next five years will be just as positive and bring even more advances.

“My thanks to everyone who has contributed to this fantastic team effort.

“I’m sure Sir Bobby would be humbled and very proud at his charity’s ongoing success.”

To make a donation, view messages of support, or for more information, {|visit here.}

Donate by sending a cheque to Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Room 203, Cheviot Court, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN.