Sir Bobby Robson celebrated what was his last birthday by opening the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

The centre was equipped through the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, part of Newcastle Hospitals Charity, and opened just two days after Sir Bobby turned 76. As he officially opened the new cancer drug trials unit, he was surprised by a birthday cake and a chorus of Happy Birthday from the crowd gathered there. It was a hugely special moment.

As Sir Bobby would have been 90 tomorrow (18 February), his family and Newcastle Hospitals staff came together today (17 February) to remember him in the cancer centre that meant so much to him, and to celebrate his legacy.

Around 400 patients are referred to the Sir Bobby Robson Centre each year and there are 30 clinical trials currently active.

Sir Bobby’s son, Mark Robson, says: “Dad was receiving treatment for cancer when he launched his Foundation. You could say he was taking on too much when he was ill but that was Dad. He was always very driven.

“He was diagnosed with cancer five times and it was because of those experiences that he fully understood the vital importance of the work funded through his Foundation. He said it was like taking a bad situation and making a good thing of it.

“All the family were so proud of him, always, but especially so knowing how hard he worked to ensure the success of his Foundation. We wish he was here today to see how much it’s gone on to achieve and to see the ongoing support it gets. I know he’d be very touched by that and I also know he’d be very sure to tell us to keep at it!”

Sir Bobby’s birthday has been marked all week with the football community and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation coming together to remember him in a wide range of different ways this week under Bobby ’90.

Podcasts, fanzines, memories shared by his former clubs and more, Bobby ’90 is a week-long celebration of the wonderful legacy Sir Bobby left us in football and through his cancer foundation. And on social media, it is hoped fans will share their own memories of this very special man using the hashtag #Bobby90.

Teri Bayliss, Charity Director at Newcastle Hospitals Charity said: “The legacy that Sir Bobby left is something truly special, so it seemed only right to celebrate his milestone 90th birthday with some cake at the centre that bears his name! We were very proud to supply hot drinks and sweet treats for the occasion.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has raised more than £18m since its launch to find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer.

Working within the NHS and in partnership with other leading charities and organisations, the work funded directly benefits cancer patients in the North East and Cumbria and plays a significant role in international efforts against the disease by funding cutting-edge cancer treatment and innovative cancer support services.

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