Sir Bobby delighted by cancer appeal

IPSWICH Town legend Sir Bobby Robson said yesterday he was “overwhelmed” with the support shown for his new cancer charity - which has raised more than £160,000 in less than a fortnight.

IPSWICH Town legend Sir Bobby Robson said yesterday he was “overwhelmed” with the support shown for his new cancer charity - which has raised more than £160,000 in less than a fortnight.

The former Blues' and England boss revealed he was “extremely touched” by peoples' generosity and hoped it would continue.

It also emerged yesterday that the footballing great will awarded the freedom of Ipswich to mark the 30th anniversary of Town's FA Cup win.

At the end of last month he launched The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation to raise more than £500,000 to equip a specialist unit in Newcastle for the early detection and treatment of cancer.

Sir Bobby revealed the first donation had been received following a funeral in County Durham when a family requested money was sent to the charity instead of flowers.

North east construction firm Esh Group has also pledged £20,000 to the fund - which now stands at £160,724.

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Sir Bobby, honorary president of Ipswich Town, said: “I've been overwhelmed at the level of support for the foundation and was extremely touched to hear the story of the family who encouraged people to donate at their relative's funeral. To me, that's typical of the thoughtfulness of the people in the area.

“Generosity of organisations such as Esh Group and from my own contacts in the footballing world has given the fundraising efforts a huge kick-start.

“I would like to thank everyone who has made a donation so far and encourage more people to do so, as we pull together to help the experts beat this disease.

“Please dig deep and keep donating, we still have a long way to go, but with your help I am sure we can make it.”

It also emerged yesterday that Sir Bobby - who is battling cancer for a fifth time - will be handed the freedom of Ipswich on May 5 during a ceremony to celebrate the anniversary of the 1978 FA Cup win.

James Hehir, chief executive of the borough council, said: “His success here in Ipswich and, later, for England proves he is a man of great stature. But his contribution goes beyond the world of football. Sir Bobby's health campaigns show an additional side to him.

“He has also battled against illnesses with great courage and he has earned the town's respect and affection.”

Sir Bobby, who was knighted in 2001, won 20 England caps playing in the 1958 and 1962 World Cups before taking the team to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup in an eight-year spell in charge.

He made his name as a manager at Ipswich, leading the club to FA Cup and UEFA Cup glory and went on to manage sides including Barcelona, Porto, PSV Eindhoven and Newcastle.

§ To donate to The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation visit www.justgiving.com/TheSirBobbyRobsonFoundation or send a cheque to The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, PO Box 307, Heaton, Newcastle, NE7 7QG. All donors will receive a personalised certificate and letter of thanks from Sir Bobby.

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