The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation raises £7m in six years

Sir Bobby Robson Sir Bobby Robson died on 31 July 2009

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The charity set up by former England and Newcastle United manager Sir Bobby Robson has now raised more than £7m, it has announced.

The foundation researches effective ways to detect and treat cancer.

Sir Bobby's widow Lady Elsie Robson described it as "a fantastic team effort".

The charity said it had received £1.7m in the last 12 months - its most successful year since its launch in 2008.

Sir Bobby set up the charity while he was receiving treatment for the disease.

He died in 2009, aged 76, after his fifth battle against cancer.

Small donations and community fundraising, which Sir Bobby described as the "heart of the charity", are said to have made up the majority of the £1.7m.

Since the foundation's cancer trials centre was opened in 2009, more than 3,000 patients have been recruited for clinical trials.

'Great man'

Lady Elsie said the progress in the six years since the foundation was started was "breathtaking".

"I know Bob would be as amazed as I am," she said.

Sir Bobby, who took Ipswich Town to FA Cup victory in 1978, became England's most successful manager since Sir Alf Ramsey. He had spells managing PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona before five years at Newcastle ending in 2004.

Charity patron and former Newcastle United captain, Alan Shearer, said: "When you walk through the doors of the Sir Bobby Robson Centre, the first thing you see is a picture of the great man on the wall. This charity was his legacy and his presence continues to be felt through it.

"I think everyone who chooses to fundraise feels the same way.

"It's a privilege meeting people fundraising for the charity and hearing why they are helping."

The most notable individual fundraising efforts over the past year included Mark "Run Geordie Run" Allison who ran across Australia, Tony "The Fridge" Phoenix-Morrison who ran the length of the country carrying a fridge and Paul Smith, who ran 65 miles between the North East's football league clubs.

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