Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson started this year off on a very positive note by receiving a cheque for £14,500 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Steve is a Patron of the cancer charity launched by Sir Bobby to find better ways to detect and treat cancer and which directly benefits patients from across the north east and Cumbria.
The money was raised through a charity football match at the Riverside organised during the summer by 35-year-old Andy Clark who is originally from Billingham and now lives in London.
It was the fourth time Andy had arranged the charity game and this year was particularly special as it was in memory of his close friend Grant Harrison and last year`s match mascot Tom Gardiner.
Grant, 36, originally from Stokesley, died on holiday last January when he was electrocuted when reaching for a bottle of water from a fridge in Thailand.
And 12-year-old Tom from Middlesbrough, died from a brain tumour in December 2011. Both Tom and Grant`s families attended the game.
Andy says: “Tom was mascot at last year`s charity match and his bravery touched everyone. And Grant was a good friend of mine who played an integral part in all the games so the idea was to try and do something in their memory.
“Tom`s sister Lucy was this year`s mascot and it was lovely that the families supported the event and came along to watch. It was a very special and very emotional night.”
The game brought together passionate Boro fans who were keen to run out at the Riverside alongside former players Curtis Fleming, George Boateng, Gaizka Mendieta, Ugo Ehiogu, Neil Maddison and Colin Cooper.
Andy, who helps run Middlesbrough Supporters South, adds: “I hadn’t planned to do another game but when I heard the sad news about Grant and Tom I decided I had to organise another game in their memory.
“There was a really enthusiastic crowd of about 1,000 people who came to watch the Boro heroes and support friends and family and that really added to the occasion.
“The Boro stars were great, posing for photos and chatting to fans and the match itself was entertaining with the blues running out 4-2 winners.
“Overall, the four games have raised over £45,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which is testament to the great generosity of the Teesside public.”
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria and which contribute significantly to research into the disease.
Thanks to magnificent support from volunteer fund-raisers and generous donors, it has now raised over £4.7million and is making a significant impact in the fight against cancer.
Steve says: “Andy and his friends continue to do our club proud with their fantastic efforts for such a worthwhile cause.
“The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is making a real difference to cancer services in our region and also paying for vital research into the disease.
“Cancer affects most us in some way during our lives and anything we can do to fight it has my wholehearted support.”
In the last year, Sir Bobby`s widow Lady Elsie has officially opened the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation PET Tracer Production Unit, which was jointly funded by the charity and Newcastle University. The charity also announced it was contributing £850,000 towards life-saving new cyber surgery equipment at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
Both of these major advances in treatment and tumour detection for cancer patients will work in tandem with the clinical trials of new drugs within the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is intrinsically linked to the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Charity and the substantial support it receives from this local NHS Charity means it can significantly limit administrative costs.
It does not employ professional fund-raisers to pro-actively raise money and co-ordinate volunteers and relies completely on third party and volunteer fund-raisers.
To make a donation, view messages of support, or for more information please visit www.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk or donate by sending a cheque to Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Room 203, Cheviot Court, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN.