Tyne & Wear

Sir Bobby Robson charity walk in memory of Lee Hope

Amy and Lee Hope Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lee Hope lived in Guernsey with wife Amy and daughter Livia

A group is embarking on a 333 mile (536km) walk from Ipswich to Newcastle to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Hike4Hopey is in memory of Lee Hope who died last year aged 33 after a 13-week battle with bowel cancer.

Ten walkers will start their challenge after two of Sir Bobby's clubs, Ipswich Town and Newcastle United, face each other in the Championship.

Scott Hope, Lee's brother, said he would think they were all "crackers".

Starting at the statue of Sir Bobby at Portman Road, Ipswich, the hike ends at his statue at St James' Park in Newcastle.

Image copyright PA/Getty
Image caption The group is meeting Sir Bobby's widow at Ipswich Town on Sir Bobby Robson day

Mr Scott, from North Shields, said training over the past seven months had been difficult.

"In Lee's last days we discussed the chances of doing something in his memory and his immediate choice was the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

"It's felt important to do something positive and this has given us something to focus on.

"We can't wait to get going but we're mainly looking forward to the last day when we'll be joined by lots more friends and supporters for the final leg."

'Very very proud'

Lee, a Newcastle United fan, moved to Guernsey in 2010 where he lived with his wife Amy and daughter Livia.

Scott, who works for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said the walkers would be staying at fire stations along the route.

The group has 12 days to complete the challenge, walking about 28 miles (45km) each day.

Scott said of his brother: "He'd think we were crackers... but I think he'd be very, very proud."

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lee Hope would have been proud of those doing the charity walk, said his brother

Hike4Hopey has so far raised more than £11,500 for the the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The foundation was established in 2008 while the former Newcastle, Ipswich and England manager was receiving treatment for cancer. He died the following year.

To date it has raised £10m.

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