Suffolk/North East: Funds raised for Sir Bobby Robson Foundation following swim

THE funds of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation have been given a boost thanks to a national newspaper football conrrespondent.

Today Henry Winter swam across the Tyne to honour a bet and at the same timee raise funds for the cancer charity.

In 2010, such was the uncertainty surrounding Newcastle United that Mr Winter promised to swim the river if the club committed long-term to Alan Pardew.

After Mr Pardew signed an eight-year contract, Mr Winter immediately agreed to fulfil his wager and take the plunge.

In glorious sunshine, he swam from Newcastle City Marina to the pontoon at Royal Naval Reserve training unit HMS Calliope on the Gateshead bank. As he emerged from the cold river he was greeted with a Newcastle United towel courtesy of the club.

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He undertook his swim in the shadow of the Tyne Bridge and under the bemused gaze of hundreds of shoppers at Newcastle’s popular Quayside Market.

Mr Winter saids: “I’m fresh and frozen, it was cold. The first two thirds were a doddle and I thought this is ok, a nice gentle paddle across the Tyne. But then suddenly the current hit and it was like the fast lane of the motorway.

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“I could actually feel myself being dragged along and I was fortunate to have an experienced swimmer alongside me in Tony Greener. In fact, at one point I think I grabbed Tony’s toe.

“It’s really been fun. The reaction to my daft bet and this swim shows what a football mad city this is.

“Everyone has rallied round to help and that’s a sign of the depth of feeling for Sir Bobby and the great work funded through the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

“I have my own fond memories of Sir Bobby. He was simply one of the greatest managers this country has produced and great man.”

Mr Winter was ably supported by experienced swimmer Tony Greener from North Shields, organiser of the annual Tyne 10 Mile River Swim and, after his chilly dip, headed off to more familiar surroundings to cover Newcastle United v Manchester United.

The Newcastle United manager was quick to offer Mr Winter his best wishes saying: “Henry, you’re a man of your word and I like that - congratulations! I can’t imagine how cold it was in the Tyne today, but rest assured we’ll give you a warm welcome when you arrive at the stadium later.

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