Sir Bobby's delight at appeal success

FORMER Ipswich boss Sir Bobby Robson has told his delight after more than £17,000 was pledged to his new cancer charity in less than a week.

Russell Claydon

FOOTBALL legend Sir Bobby Robson has told of his delight after more than £17,000 was pledged to his new cancer charity in less than a week.

The former Ipswich Town and England manager said the public's response to his appeal to raise money to fight cancer had been “unbelievable”.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was launched on Tuesday - and nearly £3,000 has been pledged by online well-wishers every day.

Sir Bobby, who is honorary president of Ipswich Town, wants to raise more than £500,000 to equip a specialist unit in Newcastle for the early detection and treatment of cancer.

The 75-year-old is fighting cancer for the fifth time and has been told that this time it is incurable. At last week's launch, he said he hoped the foundation would be his legacy to the world.

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Sir Bobby, who has previously fronted fundraising bids for cancer services at Ipswich Hospital, said he was overwhelmed by the initial response to the appeal.

“I can't believe the fantastic messages of support that people have written. It is unbelievable and I appreciate it very much indeed,” he said.

The football boss revealed in May last year he was facing his fifth cancer fight after doctors found small, cancerous nodules in his lungs.

The foundation was set up after Sir Bobby was asked for help by the oncologist treating him, Dr Ruth Plummer, and will initially focus on the early detection and treatment of cancer.

It will also help support clinical trials of promising new treatments to tackle the disease.

The first goal is to raise the money urgently required to set up The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the new Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle.

The money raised will fund dedicated research facilities including a 12-bed unit with treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art laboratory and consulting facilities, all of which is being built at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

The son of a Durham miner, Sir Bobby was knighted in 2001 after a glittering career as a player and manager.

He 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 as the national team manager.

He made his name as a manager at Ipswich, leading the club to FA Cup and Uefa Cup glory, and went on to manage some of Europe's top sides, including Barcelona, Porto and PSV Eindhoven.

To make a donation to The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation visit: www.justgiving.com/TheSirBobbyRobsonFoundation or send a cheque to:

Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, PO Box 307, Heaton, Newcastle, NE7 7QG.

All donors will receive a personalised certificate and a letter of thanks from Sir Bobby.

IPSWICH Town fans have been amongst those pledging their money to the foundation, leaving their own messages of support and thanks on the donation website.

Martyn Elmy said: “Dear Bobby, just a small thanks for the great times you brought to Ipswich and England.”

Simon Drake said: “Thanks for all the great football you have brought us, we all love you in Ipswich.”

Adam P said: “Good luck with everything, from a Tractor Boy - you are a great manager and an even better man.”

Lyn Davies, who said she followed his Ipswich team round Europe, said: “All you have done for football deserves our thanks. I hope you raise millions!”

Stephen Porter wrote that, as a Town fan, he sent his love and respect.

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