World Cup winner and football legend Jack Charlton is 80 today (8 May) and he began his celebrations earlier this week with wife Pat, Lady Elsie Robson and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation fundraisers.
Jack, from Ashington, is a supporter of his friend Sir Bobby’s cancer charity and is the Ambassador for Northumberland Tea, which donates money to the Foundation from every box of tea sold.
He was surprised by his birthday cake and took great pleasure blowing out the candle, while charity fundraisers from Darlington, Shildon and North Tyneside and Sir Bobby’s son, Paul, were happy to be part of his celebration at Newcastle’s Copthorne Hotel.
Jack says: “It was a lovely surprise to get a cake and to see Lady Elsie again.
“Bob was a great lad and a very good friend and it gives me a lot of pleasure to support the work of the Foundation whenever I can.”
In addition to gardening, watching football and fishing, Jack is a very active Ambassador for Northumberland Tea and even helps with some of the local deliveries.
His photograph features on every box alongside the light-hearted slogan, “The best cup since 1966,” referring to Jack, and English football’s, finest hour – winning the World Cup under Sir Alf Ramsey.
The tea is the creation of Corbridge couple Bill and Helen Logan, with the help of expert blender and importer James Pogson. And, because Helen sadly lost both her mum and dad to cancer, they were keen to do something that would also support the work of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Helen says: “I always get a lump in my throat when I meet Lady Elsie. She really is an inspirational lady, what she has done to carry on Sir Bobby’s work is amazing.
“The Foundation really has changed the way people with cancer are cared for. I experienced that level of care first-hand throughout my Dad’s treatment, giving something back means an awful lot to us.”
Jack is planning to spend his 80th birthday with family and eating fish and chips.
Lady Elsie adds: “We had a marvellous time with Jack, meeting fundraisers and, as ever, there was a lot of football talk.
“I always get such a lot out of hearing a bit more about how people are raising funds for the charity and also finding out why they’ve chosen to help.
“It was really lovely way to mark Jack’s 80th birthday and we hope he enjoys his special day with his family.”
Northumberland Tea is stocked in 170 independent retailers and 70 Tesco stores throughout the North East.
For further information please visit www.thenorthumberlandteacompany.com.