Son takes on Great North Run to support brother and remember dad who collapsed outside St James' Park

A grieving son and supportive sibling is taking on the Great North Run in memory of his dad – and to his brother battling cancer.

Mark Swinney, from Jarrow, is taking on the Great North Run on September 11 to raise funds for Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which helps those battling with cancer.

Mark decided to take on the challenge in memory of his dad Bobby, a big supporter of Sir Bobby Robson, who collapsed and died aged 67 near the Gallowgate steps on his way to watch his beloved Newcastle United play at St James’ Park.

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He will also be showing his support for his brother Garry, who is undergoing cancer treatment.

Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Patron Alan Shearer with Bobby SwinneySir Bobby Robson Foundation Patron Alan Shearer with Bobby Swinney
Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Patron Alan Shearer with Bobby Swinney

Mark said: “Bobby was a huge supporter of Sir Bobby Robson, as are the whole family, for everything he achieved throughout his career but also the legacy that he created with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the support it gives people facing cancer.

“That’s really important to everyone and especially to us because Garry, my brother, was diagnosed with cancer in July 2021 and he’s been receiving his treatment at the Freeman Hospital.”

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Speaking about his brother, Mark added: “After being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma of the mandible, Garry started a course of chemotherapy and he’ll be undergoing surgery in the next few weeks. The treatment and support that he’s received have been excellent.

Garry SwinneyGarry Swinney
Garry Swinney
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“As a family, we were happy to be able to give the funeral donations in Dad’s memory to the Foundation, especially given the treatment that Garry is currently receiving, and I’m looking forward to doing the Great North Run, too. It will likely be another emotional day for us.”

Lady Elsie Robson from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation said: “It was extremely thoughtful of Bobby’s family to think of us at such a difficult time. Losing a loved one is always hard but I think it must be especially upsetting when it’s so sudden.

“Bobby was obviously very well-loved and we’re grateful for the donations made in his memory to support our work. And we wish Garry all the very best with his cancer treatment.”

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