Football

Football unites in tribute to Sir Bobby

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A Who's Who of football came together on Monday to give thanks for the life of Sir Bobby Robson, one of the game's best-loved figures.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Fabio Capello and Sir Bobby Charlton were among the 1,000 invited guests who filled Durham's magnificent Norman cathedral.

Former players including Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer and Stuart Pearce were also in attendance at the event, held seven weeks after Sir Bobby died aged 76 at his home in nearby Langley Park.

Also attending were Sam Allardyce, Mick McCarthy and showbusiness duo Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.

One of Sir Bobby's other great triumphs away from football - helping to raise around £1.8 million for his foundation which funds research into the early detection of cancer - was represented by his oncologist, Dr Ruth Plummer, who recruited him to raise money.

The service, broadcast live on television, was being beamed to the grounds of Ipswich Town, where Sir Bobby brought incredible European and FA Cup success, and Newcastle United, where he restored belief and Geordie pride when he returned in 1999.

Before the event, Lineker admitted he would be nervous speaking about his mentor's time as England boss.

He said: "I will be nervous because I won't want to let him or his family down. I could probably do with one of his famous pep talks beforehand."

Sir Bobby fought cancer five times, and devoted his final years to helping others with the disease.

Such was the affection felt for a genuine football man, his target of raising £500,000 was met in just eight weeks. In February, he was proud to officially open a cancer trials centre at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, and he said then that he wanted that to be his legacy.

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Topics:
Ipswich Town
Gary Lineker
Football
League One
Newcastle United
Alex
Alan Shearer
Paul Gascoigne
Stuart Pearce
Bobby Charlton
FA Cup
Charlton Athletic

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