Tyne & Wear

Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has raised £13.5m

Sir Bobby Robson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir Bobby took England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1990

Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson's foundation has raised £13.5m and provided great comfort to his family, his widow Elsie has said on the 10th anniversary of his death.

He set up the cancer charity in 2008, a year before he died, and it continues to save lives by funding research.

Lady Robson said: "We've all missed him a great deal and still do. All the family, and his friends of course.

"I've found the foundation very helpful in that respect."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Oncologist Professor Ruth Plummer (right) first approached Sir Bobby for help with fundraising

Sir Bobby, who had cancer on five occasions, intended to raise £500,000 to equip a cancer drug trials centre in Newcastle and that target was reached in just eight weeks.

"It was something Bob was very passionate about and it's given us all a focus," Lady Robson said.

"For myself especially, because I really do enjoy all the events and the people I meet through the charity.

"What stands out most to me after 10 years is that the love and respect people have for Bob doesn't seem to have diminished at all."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lady Robson says the foundation has helped his family

Lady Robson said Sir Bobby felt like he was managing a football team again when he set up the foundation.

She said: "Even though he was ill, he was determined to set up this charity and he was extremely proud of it.

"It's amazed me how much we've been able to do through the foundation.

"The support just hasn't let up and our medical trustees keep us moving forwards and make sure we're making the right decisions.

"I'm so grateful to everyone who has continued to fundraise for us and to help find better ways to detect and treat cancer.

"Bob would be absolutely amazed at everything we've done. He'd want us to keep at it."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir Bobby celebrated winning the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final against PSG with striker Ronaldo and coach Jose Mourinho

Sir Bobby was approached by his oncologist Professor Ruth Plummer to help fundraise in 2008.

When he presented her with the £500,000 cheque, he said: "I've achieved many things during my career in football, won trophies, represented my country, received all kinds of wonderful awards and even been knighted but I'm as proud of this achievement as I am of any other in my life."

The foundation works with other charities and organisations and funds cancer treatment and patient care.

At its heart is the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir Bobby played for Fulham in the 1950s and 60s

Sir Bobby opened the centre in 2009 and was one of the first patients, and it puts about 600 people a year through cancer trials, many of whom have no other options.

Patrons of the foundation include Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer, Sunderland hero Niall Quinn, ex-goalkeeper Steve Harper, Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson, Delia Smith and the former Ipswich Town and England captain Mick Mills.

Before his death at the age of 76, Sir Bobby played for and managed England, as well as managing clubs including Ipswich Town, PSV Eindhoven, Porto, Barcelona and Newcastle United.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Statues of Sir Bobby stand outside both Newcastle's St James' Park and Ipswich Town's Portman Road stadium

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