Family's £50,000 gift to charity

A GIFT of £50,000 is to be given to a Suffolk cancer charity on behalf of the family of late Ipswich Town assistant manager Dale Roberts.Mr Roberts died from cancer last year and a memorial match - attended by Sir Bobby Robson and former Ipswich manager George Burley - was held at Portman Road this summer, the proceeds of which will go to Cancer Campaign In Suffolk.

A GIFT of £50,000 is to be given to a Suffolk cancer charity on behalf of the family of late Ipswich Town assistant manager Dale Roberts.

Mr Roberts died from cancer last year and a memorial match - attended by Sir Bobby Robson and former Ipswich manager George Burley - was held at Portman Road this summer, the proceeds of which will go to Cancer Campaign In Suffolk.

Jill Burley, wife of former manager George, broke the good news to the charity's chairman of trustees, Mr Jonathan Ripman, only a few days ago.

Speaking on behalf of Cancer Campaign In Suffolk, Mr Ripman, a solicitor at Gotelee and Goldsmith in Ipswich, said: "It's only recently been made public that this generous gift will be made to the charity.


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"It's a result of a decision made by the committee members and patrons who put so much hard work into organising the memorial match, which to our astonishment was played to a full house."

The £50,000 total was reached through a combination of both proceeds from the match and funds raised at a charity dinner held at the Copdock Hotel earlier in the year.

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Board members of the cancer charity are now in consultation with the Roberts family, as well as oncologists at Ipswich Hospital, on exactly how best to spend the money.

"It has provisionally been decided that rather than putting it all into a pot for general use, the full amount will go towards the purchase of a single piece of equipment, possibly to help detect men's or children's cancer, so that people can see how the money has been used," said Mr Ripman.

"Either way, the amazing generosity of the Roberts family and their fund-raising drive will make a huge difference to the fight against this disease."

The cheque will be presented at the Ipswich home game against Brighton on November 27.

Mr Roberts' widow Cheryl will be in attendance, as well as members of Cancer Campaign In Suffolk.

The memorial match in July between Ipswich and Newcastle saw the home team winning 2-1 in front of a 24,644-strong crowd at Portman Road.

Former Ipswich stars Kieron Dyer, Titus Bramble and Darren Ambrose played for Newcastle, all of whom had fond memories of Mr Roberts.

Mr Roberts began his playing career at Ipswich in the 70s, moving to Hull City, then Ayr United, where he teamed up with Burley.

The pair then moved to Colchester United before returning to Portman Road where they saw Ipswich promoted to the Premiership in 2000.

Mr Roberts was able to enjoy one last victory in May 2002, when his reserve side won their league championship.

Paying tribute at the memorial match, Town chairman David Sheepshanks said: "Dale was an incredibly hard working and well-respected coach. As a person he was utterly dependable."

Sir Bobby Robson added: "He was a good servant to the football industry and a thoroughly nice man."

And, praising Dale's integrity and loyalty, George Burley said: "It was typical that over the last year of his life he showed such incredible bravery, with magnificent support from his family."

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