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Legend's Hotspur accolade; Sir Bobby's contribution recognised.

Byline: Neil McKay

FOOTBALL legend Sir Bobby Robson and The Sage Gateshead director Anthony Sergeant were recognised for their contributions to the North East last night.

At the annual dinner of the Northumbrian Association, held at Washington Old Hall, both men were granted The Hotspur Awards, a coveted accolade chosen by the association along with leading figures from the business community in the region and One North East chairman Margaret Fay.

The award looks to highlight leading organisations committed to championing the culture and heritage of Northumbria. During the evening only two prizes are announced for their contributions to the cultural landscape of the region.

Sir Bobby's award was given for his lifelong contribution to football and for setting up the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The 75-year-old former England, Newcastle United and Ipswich Town manager, who was born in Sacriston, County Durham, and grew up in the neighbouring village of Langley Park, is battling cancer for the fifth time after first being diagnosed in 1991.

The Foundation has already raised pounds 780,000 to fund the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trial and Research Centre, being built at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

Anthony Sergeant, general director of The Sage, Gateshead, received his award for his work in making the pounds 70m venue such a success.

Hayley Simpson, 11, a pupil at St Mary and Aquinas RC School in Blaydon, Gateshead, won the junior writing contest organised by the association.

The competition was established to lobby for the return to the North of the Lindisfarne Gospels and also to promote knowledge and understanding of the rich history, traditions and culture of Northumbria.

Talks between representatives of the British Library and representatives of the region to return the Gospels to the North East are still ongoing.

Chairman John Danby told last night's gathering, which included leading names from the world of business, the arts and the media, that work was also well underway to establish leaflets and signposts by next year marking "Cuddy's Corse," the eight-mile route along the River Wear from Chester-le-Street to Durham Cathedral.

The route was said to be the final journey taken by the monks carrying the body of St Cuthbert, the patron saint of Northumbria, to burial.


RECOGNISED Anthony Sergeant of the Sage with Hayley Simpson, of Ryton, Gateshead, who won the junior writing contest.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 23, 2008
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