News of the first Sir Bobby’s Football Run is attracting support for our Foundation from across the country.

Hanwell Town’s Gareth Chendlik

Challenging supporters to run the same distance as a top-flight footballer covers during a match, the Football Run now has runners signed up from across the UK, and as far afield as Devon.

To complete the Football Run and ‘run a match,’ participants will run 10km, whenever and wherever suits them best, while wearing their favourite football shirt.

Or, if a full match is a bit too much, to run half a game and do 5km.

The aim is to help support the work of our Foundation, as well as keeping supporters active during lockdown, and it is appealing to both seasoned runners and those using it as a springboard to get a bit fitter.

In fact, there has been so much interest that the Football Run has now gone into ‘extra time,’ and we have extended the deadline to complete the activity. Runners now have until the end of April, giving more time to prepare and train as the evenings grow lighter.

One runner who will not be needing extra time for training is Gareth Chendlik, who plays for Hanwell Town FC, a non-league club in West London nicknamed ‘the Geordies.’

Gareth, (27) originally from Hemel Hempstead and now living in Hanwell, has been keeping himself fit while matches have been suspended because of Covid and has challenged himself to run, not just one Football Run, but 10 – running a total of 100km.

The striker has played for Hanwell Town for three seasons and, despite missing games due to the pandemic, has scored 33 goals and is nearing his 100th appearance for the Geordies.

Gareth says: “I love the idea of the Football Run. It’s given me something to commit to and focus on now that our football season has been curtailed, as well as supporting such a brilliant charity.

“I run a lot anyway so wanted to challenge myself and up my game a bit and go for the big 100! During the first lockdown all of our players ran between 5-10km each to raise money for our club, so maybe we’ll get them all doing Sir Bobby’s Football Run next.”

The Gettins family from Whitburn are signed up

Hanwell Town was founded in 1920 by a group of Geordies who had come down from Tyneside to work on the railways in London. The club adopted the black and white stripes of Newcastle United and called themselves Hanwell Town FC.

Although seven divisions and 300 miles separate the two clubs, Hanwell Town has received fantastic support from Newcastle United fans during lockdown.

Elsa Jones, Head of Marketing at Hanwell Town, says: “The new friendship between Hanwell Town and Newcastle United fans really took off in January this year when we were part of a non-league football nickname competition.

“Geordies from around the world started voting for us and it brought so much interest in our club, just when we needed it most. Some of them said they’ll come to a Hanwell match when it’s safe to do so and we can’t wait to meet them.

“Because of all the interest in us from Newcastle fans, we thought the Football Run was a great thing to get involved in and obviously Gareth’s really taken up the challenge.

“Our CEO, Nigel Hunt, met Sir Bobby in 2007 and we have the shirt Sir Bobby signed displayed in our clubhouse. Nigel spent the day with him and he told us what a lovely, caring man he was.

“We felt that, because Sir Bobby was such a big part of Newcastle United and Newcastle in general, this would be a great way of raising some vital funds, especially when the virus has made fundraising much harder.”

Sir Bobby’s Football Run is free to enter and participants are asked to try and raise £50 in sponsorship. After completing the run, they will receive a certificate and Bobby Robson Foundation pin badge.

For more information and to sign up for Sir Bobby’s Football Run, please visit Sir Bobby’s Football Run. Or contact the Charity Office by calling 0191 213 7235 or emailing