Sir Bobby Robson

Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby will be as passionately contested as every previous game between Newcastle United and Sunderland.

At kick-off, whether wearing red and white or black and white, fans and players alike will be totally committed to their own team. However, in one area the two clubs have always been united in a common cause.

When Sir Bobby Robson launched his charity in March 2008, Sunderland AFC and Newcastle United immediately joined with Middlesbrough as supporters of the Foundation's work against cancer. Their support, and that of the fans, was something Sir Bobby was very proud of and valued greatly.

In the run up to the derby, it is therefore appropriate that the North East Football Writers' Association is continuing Sir Bobby's work by auctioning two special prizes donated by both clubs in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The two prizes, donated by the football clubs and held over from the recent North East Football Writers' Association Awards Dinner, are being auctioned via eBay and already attracting generous bids from fans.

Newcastle United has donated two tickets to any home game this season in the director's box and including a three-course meal. The prize also includes the chance to meet the players as they arrive pitchside and a visit for two to the Newcastle United training ground before any game.

Sunderland AFC has donated two tickets to what will be an exciting clash between Sunderland v Liverpool on 10th March at the Stadium of Light. The executive seats are in a prime spot on the halfway line and include a three-course carvery lunch.

The two items are listed on eBay as 'Sunderland v Liverpool 10/3/12 CHARITY AUCTION' and 'NEWCASTLE UNITED DIRECTORS BOX TICKETS.' The auction items close on Sunday (4th March) and Wednesday (7th March) respectively.

George Caulkin, speaking on behalf of the North East Football Writers' Association and a patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, said: "We're very grateful to Newcastle and Sunderland for the prizes they have generously donated to help the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

"And the Football Writers' Association is particularly pleased to be auctioning them during what is such a special week in the region's football calendar.

"Sir Bobby may have been a former Newcastle manager but ultimately he was a man of the North-East.

"He was a regular and welcome visitor to watch Sunderland as well as Newcastle. In fact, Niall Quinn will tell you his guests in the Stadium of Light boardroom would often be captivated by Sir Bobby explaining football formations using the butter dish and coffee cups.

"He was hugely proud of this region and of the way the people here immediately took to his charity. That passion to keep helping people fighting cancer means the strength of support for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is stronger than ever.

"It's an incredible legacy from a great football man who would have been looking forward to Sunday's match more than anyone else."

Since Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie launched the charity in 2008, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has raised over £3.9 million to help find more effective treatments for cancer.

It funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria, including the clinical trials of drugs at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.

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.