Suffolk/North East: Star-studded line up for Sir Bobby’s charity

A star-studded celebration and charity fund-raising event featuring Mark Knopfler, Joe McElderry, Roy Hodgson, Northern Sinfonia, The Unthanks, Paul Whitehouse, Simon Day and many more will be held next year – on what would have been Sir Bobby Robson’s 80th birthday.

Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration, will raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Alan Shearer Foundation and will feature the former England and Ipswich boss’s “Desert Island Discs”, performed by some of the country’s finest artists, at the Sage Gateshead.

It will also feature his final interviews, which were originally filmed for use at this event when it was first planned, with his involvement, in 2009.

Sir Bobby was passionate about live music and enthusiastic at the prospect of a charity evening which would unite greats from football, music and comedy on the banks of the Tyne.

Sadly, because of his failing health, that original event was postponed and now the team behind it, with the help and input of both Lady Elsie and Alan Shearer, are pleased to fulfil Sir Bobby’s ambition by creating what is sure to be a spectacular and emotional evening.

Hosted by friend Jim Rosenthal and, with many more big name acts to be announced, the star-studded gala night is behind held on February 18.

Shearer said: “I’m honoured to be part of things. Whenever you mention Sir Bobby’s name either here in the north east or around the country people are only too happy to help and that’s what’s happened here.

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“It’ll be a great event and really it was Sir Bobby’s brainchild. He started this off but unfortunately wasn’t well enough to see it through. So from that point of view we’re all determined to put on a great evening which I’m sure people will really enjoy.”

One of the first names on the Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration ‘team sheet’ was The X Factor and Popstar To Operastar winner Joe McElderry, from South Shields.

He recently entered the top 10 of the album charts and garnered success with his fourth album “Here’s What I Believe”. McElderry is an Ambassador for the Teenage Cancer Trust and was quick to agree to support the event.

Today he provided onlookers with a taste of what the gala night has in store by giving a rendition of “Nessun Dorma” from the Sage’s second floor balcony.

He said: “I’m thrilled and very proud to be supporting Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration.

“It says everything about Sir Bobby, and what his name stands for, that this event has attracted so many high profile names from music, football and comedy already. And they tell me there are even more names still to come.

“It’s raising money for two wonderful charities and I know it’s going to be a very memorable night. I can’t wait to be honest, it will be a very special evening and I’m looking forward to performing alongside some real music and comedy legends.”

Lindisfarne’s Ray Laidlaw, from Tynemouth, is one of the producers of the celebration night and was involved in filming Sir Bobby’s final interviews.

He said: “It was a great privilege to be involved planning this event with Sir Bobby back in 2009. He was so keen to make it happen and now, thanks to wonderful support from Alan and Lady Elsie, that vision is going to become a reality at last.

“We used some of Sir Bobby’s final interviews in the dvd ‘A Knight to Remember’ which has already raised over �100,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation but there will be footage on the night which has never been seen before.

“Even though he was so ill at the time we made the interviews Sir Bobby was so positive and committed to making them happen. He was just a joy to film. He came up with so many fantastic stories and his great enthusiasm for music shines through.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the team that’s finally going to make the show happen. It will be an incredibly special night and will raise a lot of money for two wonderful charities.”

Tickets for Sir Bobby Robson - A Celebration are priced at �45, �60 and �75 and on sale from tomorrow.

To buy tickets, or for more information, please call 0191 443 4661 or visit