Sir Bobby Robson launches new Cancer Trials Centre


Sir Bobby Robson receives a cheque for £75,000 from Fabio Capello

This week Sir Bobby Robson celebrated his 76th birthday and today (20th February) he will reach another significant personal milestone when he officially opens the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Equipped through donations to his charity, The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the new Centre will be at the forefront of research into cancer – a disease which Sir Bobby is fighting himself for a fifth time.

It will treat patients from across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria and has been constructed by the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust.

Joining Sir Bobby at the launch is current England manager Fabio Capello, who will be making a donation of £75,000 to The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation on behalf of the Football Association (FA).

Sir Bobby says: “I’m very grateful to the FA for their extremely generous support and to Fabio for delivering the donation in person. I know from experience that he has a very demanding job and for him to take the time to visit us personally speaks volumes about his character.

"This is a particularly proud day for everyone involved in The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. And by that I don’t just mean myself, my wife Lady Elsie and the charity committee and Centre staff.

“Every single person who has made a donation to the Foundation, sponsored a friend or workmate or organised a fundraising event should be very proud too. This new Centre is our first major achievement together and it will make a huge difference to the experts who are working hard to find new treatments for cancer.

“And because of the wonderful ongoing efforts being made on behalf of my charity I’m pleased to announce that we’ve also been able to use £300,000 to fund two very important research posts here too – a doctor and a nurse. Both are training roles and a sound investment in the future of cancer research.

“But we don’t want to rest on our laurels today. This is a wonderful new facility but the patients who come through its doors are at the very frontline in the fight against cancer. The best way we can continue to help them is to keep pulling together as a team.”

Fabio Capello says: "Sir Bobby Robson is a football legend not just in England but around the world. I have known him for many years from when we both managed in Spain and I am very pleased that The FA are backing The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

“Sir Bobby is a very courageous man and it is an honour to be able to present him with a donation which will help his Foundation's important work."

The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre is within the new Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital. It will develop and test new cancer treatments and bring together all the clinical research staff who are working to improve cancer treatments into one purpose built unit with a clinical treatment area, laboratory space for blood sample handling and offices for data collection and drug safety reporting.

The new unit will:

  • Carry out ‘first in human’ trials of new drugs
  • Offer patients access to early trials and potential new treatments
  • Work closely with the imaging research centre to improve diagnosis and study the effects of new drugs
  • Coordinate trials of new drugs at later stages of development working with the National Cancer Networks to ensure patients get offered the best options for treatment

Professor Ruth Plummer, oncologist, says: “Last year I asked Sir Bobby if he knew of any people who might like to help us raise the £500,000 we needed to equip this Centre. In true fashion he did so much more than that by making a personal donation and setting up this charity to help us.

“Incredibly we raised the money required in just seven weeks and because of his commitment, and the fantastic ongoing donations and fundraising efforts, we’ve also been able to fund a training research nurse post with a special interest in skin cancer and a senior training fellowship doctor.

“The three year posts will be based in the Cancer Trials Research Centre and will give us even more opportunity to help treat patients and develop our clinical trials and cancer research.”

More than £1.2 million has already been raised by The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and every penny will be used to fight cancer in the North East.

To make a donation, view messages of support, or for more information on The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, please visit www.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.co.uk or donate by sending a cheque to:

Sir Bobby Robson Foundation
PO Box 307

All donors will receive a personalised certificate and a letter of thanks from Sir Bobby.

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