Sir Bobby Robson

By Dan King - Newcastle United Communications Officer

Two years ago on Sunday, Sir Bobby Robson passed away - and now the foundation set up in his name has raised £3.5m to help find more effective treatments for cancer.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was established in March 2008 and although his family have no real plans to mark the anniversary of his death, news of the staggering new total underlines the former Magpies manager's astonishing legacy.

The Sacriston-born former England international managed United between 1999 and 2004, leading them into the Champions League, and a bust of him now stands in the Old Milburn Reception at St. James' Park.

He died aged 76 on July 31, 2009 following a long battle against cancer, just days after making his final public appearance at his beloved St. James' Park before a charity match in aid of his foundation.

Speaking on behalf of his family, Sir Bobby's son Mark said: "We have no plans to do anything in particular to mark the anniversary of losing dad but we'll be in contact with other members of the family that day. I expect it will be a quiet time for us all.

"It's incredible how great the support and feeling for dad still is. We're very proud of everything his charity has achieved and is continuing to achieve and grateful to everyone who is helping to raise money for us.

"Dad described the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation as his legacy to help other people fighting cancer and that's just what it is.

"In addition to what we've already funded, the medical trustees of the charity are investigating some very promising new pieces of cancer equipment and potentially funding additional research personnel. It's something my mum, my brothers and I take great pride in. Dad would be touched and proud at the ongoing work in his name. We do feel we are achieving something for him.

"I can't think of a better way to remember him than to help the experts find more effective ways to combat cancer. He would like that."

In the last year, the foundation has funded a research doctor and research nurse specialising in clinical trials of new cancer drugs at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle.

Together with Macmillan, it has jointly funded a new patient 'quiet and information area,' also at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care. It is also working with Newcastle University and has purchased an ultra-compact cyclotron, which will help with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The cyclotron costs more than £500,000 and is only the second of its type in the world - and the first in Europe - and is expected to be in place from November this year.

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.