Christmas comes early for Sir Bobby’s charity

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Sir Bobby Robson’s cancer-fighting charity has been given an early Christmas present.

Volunteer fundraiser Gina Long presented a cheque for £102,112 to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, taking the total raised for the charity to more than £3.9m.

She was the driving force behind Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction, an online auction and charity ball which offered lots donated by David Beckham, Ant and Dec, and Katherine Jenkins, organised jointly for the foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Sir Bobby’s widow Lady Elsie said it had been a brilliant year for the charity, set up by the football legend in the final stages of his battle against lung cancer.

She said: “This has been a very positive year for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and I hope everyone who has helped out in any way shares my pride at our achievements together.

“My family and I greatly appreciate the support we continue to receive and getting together with Gina and the team behind Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction is a wonderful way to round off 2011.

“They have worked so hard, and on a voluntary basis, to help us raise money and I’m extremely grateful to them all.

“To have raised over £200,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer is an absolutely magnificent achievement.”

The cheque was presented to Lady Elsie by Ms Long, of Suffolk, at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

She organised the auction in memory of Sir Bobby and breast cancer campaigner Sally Balch.

She said: “Thankfully, Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction became a massive success with support from all over the world.

“That’s because my dear friends Sir Bobby and Sally, who I was so privileged to have enjoyed special times with over many years, were both extraordinary people.”