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Spend a few Bob and make cash for charity; New coin set to benefit Sir Bobby's fund.

Byline: Kirsty Drain

THE late Sir Bobby Robson's position as footballing royalty will be confirmed when he receives an honour normally reserved for kings and queens. The former Newcastle United manager is to have his face commemorated on a coin by the Royal Mint, with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the medal going to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The foundation has raised more that pounds 2m towards the early detection and treatment of cancer, funding research into the disease in the North East.

Sir Bobby's widow Lady Robson said the family had been overwhelmed by people's reaction to his death on July 31 after a courageous 17-year battle with cancer. She said: "Bobby's thirst for life was unquenchable and I'm sure he would be delighted to know that his Foundation will benefit as a result of sales of this beautiful medal."

The face of the medal features a portrait of Sir Bobby, while the reverse lists the clubs he managed and played for along with their scarves.

The Royal Mint said they hoped the medal would provide a fitting tribute not just for football fans but also for the many people inspired by Sir Bobby's charisma and grace.

Director of Commemorative Coin at the Royal Mint Dave Knight said: "Traditionally the Royal Mint marks the passing of prominent members of the Royal Family in this way. But we believe it is right to extend the honour to Sir Bobby. " The genuine emotion felt throughout the nation at his passing, not just among football fans, demonstrated a degree of heartfelt affection for a man who achieved iconic status throughout the United Kingdom."

As a football player, Sir Bobby won 20 caps for England but it is his record as a manager for which he will be remembered as one of the greats of the game. He managed Ipswich Town to FA Cup and Uefa Cup glory, took England to the World Cup semi final.

He managed a number of foreign teams before taking over at his home-town club, Newcastle United, in 1999, and leading them into the Champions' League.

Gary Lineker, who played for England under Sir Bobby from 1982 to 1990 said: " I feel very proud to have played for the only football manager to be honoured by the Royal Mint.

"His warmth extended beyond the bounds of football and he will be sorely missed by the whole nation."

CAPTION(S):

HEADS YOU WIN The new coin featuring Sir Bobby is shown in the shadow of the great man's statue in Ipswich.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 6, 2009
Words:427
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