Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration, supported by Virgin Money, was a very special evening of music, memories and laughter as family, friends, musicians, comedians, football greats and admirers gathered on the banks of the Tyne to remember Sir Bobby on the night he would have turned 80.
The charity night at The Sage Gateshead was originally planned with Sir Bobby’s involvement in 2009 and he filmed what became his last interviews to be shown at the event.
Hosted by Jim Rosenthal and former Lindisfarne singer Billy Mitchell, the night featured an amazing line-up of performers and football greats including Mark Knopfler, England legend Stuart Pearce, Joe McElderry, Northern Sinfonia – Orchestra of The Sage Gateshead, The Unthanks, Simon Day, Paul Whitehouse, Russell Watson, Alistair McGowan, Peter Brewis of Field Music, The Cornshed Sisters, Paul Smith of Maximo Park, Ruby Turner, Faryl Smith, Scarlet Street, Ben Ottewell of Gomez, Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas and Newcastle United’s Alan Pardew, Shola Ameobi and Steve Harper.
Guests included Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Patrons with Middlesbrough FC chairman Steve Gibson and Sir Bobby’s Ipswich captain Mick Mills in attendance. Sunderland AFC manager Martin O’Neill, Durham CCC’s Stephen Harmison, football legends Bob Moncur and Jack Charlton and Hebburn star Chris Ramsey in the audience.
Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration will raise funds for The Alan Shearer Foundation and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and featured some of Sir Bobby’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ as well as excerpts from those final interviews.
The event was organised by a dedicated and experienced team working on a voluntary basis. They are music promoter, Adam Collerton; award-winning director, Geoff Wonfor; football and media producer, Oliver Fowler; tour manager, Sue Collier and Ray Laidlaw, formerly of Lindisfarne.
The team received tremendous support from The Sage Gateshead, performers, guests, local businesses and the football community – including Sir Bobby’s former clubs, FIFA, UEFA and The Football Association.
Sir Bobby’s son Mark Robson says: “It was an absolutely incredible night of music, sport and comedy. There were just so many performers – we’re very thankful to them. They really were of the highest quality. Mark Knopfler, Ruby Turner, Russell Watson, Joe McElderry, The Unthanks, the list just goes on and on. It was a spectacular evening.
“In fact it was one of the best evenings I’ve ever had. Dad would have been gobsmacked.
“Steve Harper and Shola Ameobi shared some stories about Dad with Jim Rosenthal and they were hilarious really. They brought the house down. They’re two funny chaps and it was good to hear them.
“We’re just so grateful to everyone who helped make the night so special and particularly to the team of volunteers and the staff at The Sage Gateshead who put so much effort into it.
“The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation’s doing exceptionally well. I guess that’s thanks to Dad and his career and what people thought of him and we’re going to keep it going.
“It keeps my mum, my brothers and I very busy. It’s a lovely, lovely thing to do and to see the efforts of volunteers is humbling.”