Staff and students at Blyth Academy in Northumberland are long time supporters of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and their annual Christmas Fair was extra special this year thanks to Blyth Spartans’ FA Cup success.
By chance, the charity fair was arranged the same day that Spartans played Hartlepool in the second round of the cup live on BBC television and club manager, Tom Wade, called into the fair with player Samuel Pérez to donate a signed shirt to help the fundraising.
Organised by Janet Beecroft and Janice Wade, both Open Learning Centre managers at the Academy, the fair raised around £750 and was also attended by Deputy Mayor, Adrian Cartie, and members of Blyth Rotary Club.
Janet and Janice met Lady Elsie recently and she thanked them for their efforts in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. The pair began fundraising for the charity the year it was launched in 2008.
Janet says: “The fair was a real community event and we’re all thrilled at how well it went.
“We’ve supported the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation for a long time now and usually hold a Christmas event but this year’s was extra special because of Blyth Spartans’ big FA Cup game.
“Everyone was so excited for the club and having them there added to a fantastic occasion.
“The students got so much out of the day and worked very hard to prepare for it. The Craft Club, the Sixth Form Hospitality Group, the football team, everyone really, it was just wonderful how they all pulled together to make the fair such a success.”
Sir Bobby launched his Foundation in 2008 to help find effective ways to detect and treat cancer. It funds projects, including the clinical trials of new drugs, that directly benefit patients from across the North East and Cumbria and which contribute significantly to international research into cancer.
Liz Luff from the Foundation attended the event and says: “There was a fantastic atmosphere all morning and it was wonderful to see the whole community involved.
“There was a real sense of excitement ahead of Blyth’s big game, which of course they went on to win in fine fashion.
“Spartans wear the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation logo on their training shirts and Blyth Academy’s football team wears it on their match shirts too. We’re very proud of our relationship with both.
“Our thanks to everyone involved and good luck to Blyth in the next round of the Cup.”