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Sir Bobby's name lives on in charity; Shearer hails legend's legacy as foundation turns three.

Byline: JAMES MOORE

EX-NEWCASTLE striker Alan Shearer has hailed the legacy of Sir Bobby Robson after the cancer charity set up in his name celebrated its third birthday.

The former England and Newcastle manager set up the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation before he died, aged 76, from the disease in 2009.

And since then donations have poured into the charity which focuses on the early detection and treatment of cancer and the clinical trials of new drugs.

Alan Shearer, a patron of the charity which last week celebrated its third birthday, hailed donations surpassing the pounds 2.5m mark and paid tribute to everyone who has donated.

The former Newcastle United player said: "The amount of money raised by the foundation is phenomenal.

"Big events and donations are great but as well as that it is the small donations from ordinary people that are making the difference too.

"We are always hearing about people who have raised a few hundred pounds from a coffee morning or suchlike.

"Sir Bobby once told me about how a man had stopped him on the street and given him pounds 10. People have really taken the charity to their hearts. It shows the regard Sir Bobby was held in and how successful the charity has been.

"The money is going to a great cause and people are working hard to beat this disease."

Money raised for the Foundation has equipped the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle.

In addition the charity has funded a specialist research nurse and doctor and contributed to the Royal Victoria Infirmary's teenage cancer unit.

It recently announced that it is working with Newcastle University and has purchased an ultra-compact cyclotron which will help with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other serious diseases.

The cyclotron costs in excess of pounds 500,000 and is only the second of its type in the world and the first in Europe.

Liz Luff, spokeswoman for the charity, said: "We are constantly astounded by the sheer variety of fundraising activities people are doing.

"While the big events are fantastic, it is what Sir Bobby called 'the man in the street' that is raising huge amounts of money."

Former Toon number nine Shearer was speaking after a train was named after Sir Bobby. At Newcastle Central Station yesterday Alan and Sir Bobby's widow Lady Elsie Robson officially named the Class 91 high-speed locomotive, the first East Coast train to be named after a person.

The Sir Bobby Robson Class 91 electric loco features specially-commissioned, cast-iron nameplates and will carry passengers between Newcastle and London, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Alan said at the ceremony: "It is an absolute honour and pleasure to officially name a high-speed East Coast train 'Sir Bobby Robson'. I'm sure Sir Bobby would have loved this honour."

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TRAIN HONOUR Alan Shearer and Lady Robson
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 30, 2011
Words:489
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