Lady Elsie Graeme and WilfredSir Bobby’s Online Auction is organised each year by Gina Long, from Suffolk, with the help of other dedicated volunteers.  It raises money for charities, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, and has raised almost £1million in the last four years.

Last year’s auction raised an incredible £153,686 and, as well as the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, also benefitted West Suffolk Hospital Charity, GeeWizz Foundation and the League Managers Association Charity.

One of the key members of Sir Bobby’s Auction Committee is cricket hero and Newcastle United fan, Graeme Swann.

On Saturday (16 April), at St James’ Park, Graeme presented Lady Elsie with a cheque for £53,790 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, raised through Sir Bobby’s Online Auction in 2015.

Graeme says: “It’s a great pleasure to be involved with the Sir Bobby Auction and to represent its committee here today.  Gina, who organises us all, is fantastic and works really hard.

“Sir Bobby was a hero of mine and I grew up as a Newcastle fan and I’m very happy to do what I can to help his charity.

“Cancer is something that affects us all and it’s vital we continue to find better ways to detect and treat it.

“I’m very proud to be involved with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation through this auction and grateful for all the help we’ve had.”

Sir Bobby’s Online Auction receives tremendous support from the football community in particular and Newcastle United and local rivals Sunderland AFC donated some of the first prizes to get the event ‘off the ground.’

Planning for this year’s Sir Bobby’s Online Auction is well underway and bidding will start on 15th October.

In total, the four previous ‘Sir Bobby Auctions,’ which began in 2011, have raised £320,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and significant additional funds for other charities.

Lady Elsie says: “Each year, we’re amazed all over again by the prizes donated to this auction and by the support it receives. And we’re extremely proud of all the fantastic work which is funded as a result of it.

“The amount of money raised for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is very significant and will help us invest in new cancer treatments.

“I’d like to say thank you to everyone involved in organising things, donating prizes and bidding on them.  It’s a huge undertaking and I know it involves so many people giving up their time.  It’s really very special.”

Money raised for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is helping continue the work which began when Sir Bobby launched his charity in 2008 and is helping find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer.

Gina Long, who launched the auction in memory of Sir Bobby, who was a great friend, was recently awarded an MBE having raised over £2,500,000 for charity in over 30 years as a volunteer.

Gina LongGina says: “We’re thrilled to have Graeme involved in our auction.  He’s so passionate about the charities we’re supporting and a tremendous help.

“We’re really hoping we can break the £1 million raised barrier with this year’s auction and a lot of work has already gone into it.”

Over 160 very special lifestyle and sporting lots were donated to help the charities benefiting from the auction in 2015 from many kind individuals, clubs and associations including Fifa, UEFA, the Professional Football Association (PFA) and the Premier League.

In addition, there were lots donated by the England national team and a host of Premier League giants, while the clubs managed by Sir Bobby – including Ipswich Town, Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven and Newcastle – and some of the managers inspired by him – Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas Boas – also gave generously.

Gina adds: “Sir Bobby’s name, his stature in football, and more importantly the love and respect people still have for him, is reflected in the generosity people are kind enough to show us.

“The prizes donated, especially the behind-the-scenes experiences, are very often so unusual that you simply couldn’t buy them any other way.

“I think Sir Bobby would be proud of what we’re achieving for some extremely worthwhile causes, including his own wonderful cancer charity.”

For more information about Sir Bobby’s Online Auction 2016, please visit www.sirbobbysauction.com.