Alan Shearer to be confirmed as new patron of Sir Bobby Robson Foundation
The former England and Newcastle skipper will today be announced as the new patron of the Tyneside-based Sir Bobby Robson Foundation following a request from Robson's family. "It was a huge honour for me to be asked by Sir Bobby's family to join his charity as patron and I was very happy to accept," Shearer said. "Bobby's death left a gaping hole in football and within the north east as a region. He's a man I admired greatly and I know I'll continue to miss him in the coming years. "He is completely irreplaceable and the esteem he was held in became very apparent after he passed away. The outpouring of affection and respect for him was phenomenal and it's not something we are likely to see again." Shearer, speaking ahead of the formal announcement that will be made in Newcastle, continued: "Sadly nobody goes through their lives unaffected by cancer and I'm proud that there are experts working towards a cure for the disease here in the North East. "I was there at the launch of the Sir Bobby Cancer Trials Research Centre and it was a very moving occasion. Bobby was, quite rightly, incredibly proud of what his charity had achieved and I'm just as proud now to be asked to help carry on his fight against cancer." Shearer will be formally welcomed to his new role on Thursday by Robson's widow Lady Elsie and sons Paul, Andrew and Mark, who made the request for help following the former England and Newcastle manager's death in July. "Speaking for both my family and the charity we're extremely happy and grateful that Alan has agreed to become a patron for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation," Lady Elsie added. "We know how much effort he already puts into charitable work and it's no small thing to agree a commitment to another good cause. "Giving the experts the tools to fight against cancer is the legacy Bobby wanted to leave behind and thanks to Alan's help we know that legacy will continue to grow. "Bobby would have whole-heartedly approved of Alan's patronage. The two of them had great mutual respect and his involvement feels very appropriate." The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation's initial target of £500,000 was required to equip a cancer trials research centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. This figure was reached just seven weeks after the charity launch and the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre opened in February this year to treat patients from across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria. It offers patients access to early trials and potential new treatments and is at the forefront of the fight against cancer. The charity's current total now stands at over £1.8 million, which will be spent providing additional resource to fight cancer within the National Health Service. It is currently looking at new methods to monitor the effectiveness of drug delivery. The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation launched in March 2008 and focuses on the clinical trials of cancer drugs and treatments. In addition to equipping a trials unit, it has also funded a specialist research nurse and doctor and provided a children's waiting area at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care. To make a donation, view messages of support, or for more information on The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, please visit the website or donate by sending a cheque to Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, PO Box 307, Heaton NE7 7QG.
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