UK/Suffolk: Graeme Swann, Chris Hollins and former Blues striker Alan Brazil are confident of hitting £1m target for Sir Bobby

Sir Bobby's Breakthrough Online Auction Launch at the PFA Awards dinner in London Chris Hollins with

Sir Bobby's Breakthrough Online Auction Launch at the PFA Awards dinner in London Chris Hollins with Alan Brazil, Mark Robson and Mick Mills - Credit: Andy Abbott

AN ENGLAND cricketer, television presenter and former Ipswich Town chairman are among those calling on people to get behind Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Online Auction.

Graeme Swann, Chris Hollins, former Blues striker Alan Brazil and David Sheepshanks are members of the fundraising committee and last night told of their pride in being part of the ambitious initiative and their admiration of the iconic former England manager.

And they all were confident that the total could be reached – if the public gets behind the campaign in memory of a man who, during his glittering career, was also in charge of Ipswich, Newcastle, Fulham, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona.

Mr Swann said: “I have always been a Newcastle fan and a fan of Bobby Robson and the efforts to raise this amount of money for such a worthy cause is quite unique. The prizes that were on offer last time round and the sheer number of money-can’t-buy gifts this time round reflects on the popularity of Sir Bobby.”

Television presenter Mr Hollins, who is best-known for being the sports correspondent for BBC Breakfast until 2012 and for winning Strictly Come Dancing 2009, said: “Sir Bobby is so well loved inside and outside of football and for what he has done for cancer awareness.

“He was a man who adored the game but always had time for everyone and that is a very, very fine quality in anyone. I’m sure that people will support the campaign and help us reach the target.”

Former Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks, who only last week took up a new role as chairman of UK Community Foundations, said he was confident the target could be reached, especially with the name of Bobby Robson associated with the fundraising.

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He said: “I can think of very few people who can inspire such emotions as Sir Bobby and want to support such an initiative. He was a person held in such extraordinarily high esteem by the nation and people have him in their hearts and it’s significant that so many people in the world of football want to support this campaign all over again.

“We have a broadly-based committee which is led by an indefatigable and infectious campaign organiser such as Gina Long.”

One-time Ipswich Town favourite Alan Brazil, and currently radio presenter on the TalkSport Breakfast Show, was also confident of the £1m being reached.

Mr Brazil, who also played for Scotland, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United during his career, added: “It was heartbreaking when Sir Bobby was diagnosed with his illness but this campaign is superb and I’m delighted to be part of it as I believe that we should do all we can to look after others.”

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