A beautiful new artwork inspired by one of Sir Bobby’s best-loved quotes is now available for sale as a Christmas card – the first time we have had a card available for sale to benefit our Foundation.

Peter Francis

Created especially for us by Newcastle-based artist, Peter Francis, it shows two children seeing a floodlit football pitch for the first time alongside the words, ‘Without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.’

The quote is taken from Sir Bobby’s final book, Newcastle: My Kind of Toon, in which he shares his great love for North East England and how his passion for football and Newcastle United began.

In the book, published in 2008, Sir Bobby also describes the launch of his cancer Foundation, part of Newcastle Hospitals Charity, and how much it meant to him to be doing something, as he described it as, “for my own folk.”

A self-taught artist specialising in pastels, Peter is renowned for his nostalgic, warm and quirky pictures of the North East. He spent four days planning and creating the artwork, which he donated to the Foundation.

Peter says: “This is such a special quote for football fans and I wanted to create something that really reflected that. It’s not a picture of any particular football club because the sentiment of this quote is universal but I have deliberately depicted an older looking ground because I wanted to give it a grassroots feel.

“I’m very proud to be doing something to benefit for the work of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. He was a great man. And my friend was receiving cancer treatment when I created this picture, so it’s a cause that’s close to my heart.”

Mark Robson

Sir Bobby’s son, Mark Robson, says: “I think Peter’s done an exceptional job and we’re thrilled with this artwork. It’s that wonderful moment, isn’t it? When you first go to the football and see that big, beautiful green expanse lit up in front of you and it’s almost overwhelming.

“That’s what Dad got over so well in that quote and why it speaks to people. The real heart and soul of football. It’s such a lovely idea for our Christmas card. We’re grateful to Peter for his generosity and we hope the cards will be very popular.”

Peter’s artwork features on Christmas cards, which are being sold in aid of our Foundation via the Newcastle Hospitals Charity website and cost £6.50 for a pack of 10:

Sir Bobby’s quote in full: “What is a club in any case? Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.

“It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city. It’s a small boy clambering up the stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him, and without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”