Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Night to Make Sir Bobby Proud; Charity Event for Landmark Birthday

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Night to Make Sir Bobby Proud; Charity Event for Landmark Birthday

Article excerpt

Byline: Coreena Ford? 0191 201 6331 ? coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

STARS came together to stage a spectacular night of music, memories and laughter to celebrate the great Sir Bobby Robson's birthday.

Football's first gentleman would have been 80 years old yesterday, a day when he had planned to hold a fundraising event featuring his favourite celebrities from the worlds of sport, comedy and music.

After losing his battle with cancer in 2009, close friend Alan Shearer was determined to make it happen, with help from Lindisfarne's Ray Laidlaw and producer Geoff Wonfor.

And after months of meticulous planning, everyone finally joined together at The Sage Gateshead last night for Sir Bobby Robson - A Celebration, a night which also raised thousands for his foundation as well as the Alan Shearer Foundation.

Football greats from every corner of Britain attended, including former Ipswich Town and England captain Mick Mills, Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew, United players Shola Ameobi and Steve Harper, former England and Newcastle player Stuart Pearce, Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill and Andre Villas Boas, manager of Tottenham Hotspur.

The Spurs boss said: "Sir Bobby is one of the great managers of the game and without him I probably would not be where I am now. He offered me a unique opportunity to get involved in football, taking me under his wing when I was still a teenager.

"His enthusiasm and passion for management certainly rubbed off on me. He was not only a great manager but a great man and I will never forget his generosity towards me, he will always be an inspiration.

"I am always keen to support the Bobby Robson Foundation and the excellent work that it carries out. Bobby is a person that I will always cherish, and I hope the Foundation continues to prosper in his name."

Hosted by Jim Rosenthal and former Lindisfarne singer Billy Mitchell, guests were treated to three hours of amazing entertainment including music from the likes of Scarlet Street, The Unthanks, Russell Watson and Joe McElderry, who took to the stage twice to perform Nessun Dorma and Barcelona.

And Alistair McGowan had the whole of Hall One in stitches with his repertoire of football characters, as did Paul Whitehouse and Simon Day's skit on football management. …

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