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Sir Bobby’s Online Auction helping charities and brave George Woodward launches today

PUBLISHED: 00:01 14 November 2015

Former Ipswich Town manager Sir Bobby Robson

Former Ipswich Town manager Sir Bobby Robson

(c) North News and Pictures

More than 140 stellar prizes and once-in-a-lifetime experiences are on offer.

Ipswich businessman Duncan Foster and former Blues player Kevin Beattie are pictured at Portman Road with the England cap Beattie has donated to the auction. Ipswich businessman Duncan Foster and former Blues player Kevin Beattie are pictured at Portman Road with the England cap Beattie has donated to the auction.

Sir Bobby’s Online Auction has raised £700,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which researches ways to cure cancers, and other good causes since it was established four years ago.

The auction goes live today and it can also be revealed that the family of brave Ipswich three-year-old George Woodward, who lives with a rare and incurable condition, will be a main beneficiary.

At 21-months-old, he was diagnosed with type 2 spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that affects the spinal cord, causes muscle weakness and leads to severe disability.

Funds raised from the two-week auction will go towards a power wheelchair, providing a greater quality of life for the youngster.

George Woodward, three, mum Laura Barber and dad Lee Woodward. George Woodward, three, mum Laura Barber and dad Lee Woodward.

He is being supported by the GeeWizz charitable foundation, set up by auction founder and Suffolk-based Gina Long.

George’s mother, Laura Barber, of Lagonda Drive, said: “I cannot believe that the GeeWizz charity wants to support us. When we were told, I was in complete shock. It was just a mix of happiness and tears.

“George has never been able to smell grass, bend down and touch flowers or pick up things from the floor himself. He currently has a manual lightweight wheelchair, but his arms tire very quickly and he is unable to explore the world around him.

“This is why the time has come where he needs a power wheelchair, which goes up and down at the push of a button. It would be life-changing for George and give him the independence every three-year-old should have.

“On behalf of my partner Lee, my family and especially George, we would like to thank Gina and the auction volunteers.”

Sir Bobby’s Online Auction includes more than 140 money-can’t-buy prizes and experiences from some of the biggest names in celebrity, lifestyle and sport, including England captain Wayne Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Mrs Long said: “I launched the charitable foundation to help people like George and his family. Everyone who supports Sir Bobby’s Online Auction is literally helping to change George’s day-to-day life.

“How proud we will all be in making this happen from this special fundraiser that has been embraced globally.”

Meanwhile, Steve Lumley, owner of Bury St Edmunds based Steve Lumley Planing Limited, yesterday donated £500 from his firm to also help George.

Mr Lumley, 48, said: “As a company, we felt this was a very worthwhile local cause. He needs a wheelchair and he needs it quickly for the remainder of his life. Able bodied people take so much for granted and it is nice to be nice now and again.

“I’ve been told the family is over-the-moon.”

Mrs Long added: “Sir Bobby was a colossal global figure in football and the love and respect people still have for him is reflected in the unbelievable money-can’t-buy prizes that we are so fortunate to receive.

“There really is something for everyone. Please take a look and help us spread awareness of the Sir Bobby’s Online Auction which we hope will raise an amazing amount of money for some wonderful and worthwhile causes, both nationally and regionally.”

To view the auction, register and place your bid, visit www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/sir-bobbys-auction.

The auction ends on Sunday, November 29.

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