Phoenix Nights star and Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness, has given the Widnes Vikings Magic Weekend shirt his backing as the showcase rugby league spectacle gets ever closer.

paddyPaddy pledged his support during a break from filming his new Channel 4 quizshow, Benchmark by tweeting “Great work @WidnesRL over 10k raised so far for the SBRFoundation” with a picture of him on set with the shirt.

Paddy is no stranger to fundraising having reunited with fellow Phoenix Nights star Peter Kay to perform 16 sell out shows at the Manchester Arena earlier this year which raised a record breaking amount of over £5m – the most money raised by a live comedy show anywhere in the world.

It was the first time in 15 years that the full original cast had got back together and everyone gave their time for free so that all profits from the shows could be donated to Comic Relief.

Widnes Vikings are donating 100% of the profits raised from the sale of the club’s 2015 special edition Magic Weekend shirt to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the charity set up in 2008 by the former England manager.

Vikings Director Brian O’Connor commented: “It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Vikings fundraising efforts in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation have reached a milestone five figure amount. Thanks to Paddy and the other high profile endorsements we have received we have already raised over £10,000 with plenty of time remaining to further increase this figure.

“I would like to thank each of our supporters who have purchased a shirt to date for their contribution and would remind supporters who have not yet purchased a special edition Magic Weekend shirt that only orders placed prior to May 1st will be guaranteed delivery or will be available for collection prior to the Magic Weekend.”

The Vikings will wear the shirt during the opening game of the 2015 First Utility Magic Weekend when they play Salford Red Devils at St James’ Park, Newcastle.

Paddy McGuinness has himself donned a playing shirt at St James’ Park for Sir Bobby when he took part in a charity football match supporting the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in 2009.

The Sir Bobby Robson Trophy match was played in honour of the former England and Newcastle United manager, in aid of his cancer charity.

The match was an immensely moving one and later earned the moniker ‘tear-jerker of the decade’. The match proved to be Sir Bobby’s last public appearance. He died five days later, aged 76, on the morning of 31st July having been suffering from terminal cancer, the fifth diagnosis in his lifetime.

The match was pitched as a replay of the famous England Italia ’90 World Cup match played under Sir Bobby’s reign as manager and featured English and German players from the original 1990 World Cup squads.

McGuiness represented England alongside six of the original 1990 starting eleven who won the game 3-2, watched by 33,000 spectators in the stadium.

gazza lo resThe Bobby Robson trophy was lifted by match winners Paul Gascoigne and Widnes Vikings’ Magic Weekend Ambassador Peter Beardsley.

Due to the nature of the Vikings charity initiative for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Magic Weekend shirts are being manufactured to order. Widnes Vikings would therefore advise supporters to pre-order the Magic Weekend shirt by May 1st to guarantee that items will be delivered/available for collection prior to the Magic Weekend event.

Magic Weekend shirts are available online at or by calling the Vikings Superstore on 0151 495 2250 (option 2).

A small number of shirts are available from the Vikings Superstore located within Tesco Extra, Widnes (subject to availability).

Widnes Vikings Sir Bobby Robson Foundation shirt launch.Tickets for the Magic Weekend are also available from the Vikings Superstore and ticket hotline 0151 495 2250 (option 2)
There are four different ticket prices available in all price categories: Regular Adult, Regular Concession, Season Pass Adult & Season Pass Concession
Cat 1 Day Reserved £40.00/£22.50/£22.50/£11.25
Cat 2 Day Un-Reserved £30.00/£17.50/£17.50/£8.75
Cat 3 Day Un-Reserved £20.00/£12.50/£12.50/£6.25
Cat 1 Weekend Reserved £65.00/£35.00/£35.00/£17.50
Cat 2 Weekend Un-Reserved £50.00/£27.50/£27.50/£13.75
Cat 3 Weekend Un-Reserved £35.00/£20.00/£20.00/£10.00