Sir Bobby Robson Golf Day

Former footballers from across the North-East united on Friday in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation

Ex-World Cup referee George Courtney brought together his friends from within football for a golf day at Bishop Auckland Golf Club.

George is currently Men's Captain at the club and, like Ladies' Captain Barbara Veal, has chosen the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation as his charity for the year. It is the first time in the club's 118-year history that both men's and ladies captains have chosen to support the same charity.

A football referee for more than 50 years, George officiated at the World Cups in 1986 and 1990 when Sir Bobby managed England, and 26 former Sunderland, Newcastle United, Middlesbrough, Carlisle United and Darlington players came together to support his charity golf day.

George said: "I initially looked at supporting the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation because of my connections with Sir Bobby.

"When I found out a bit more about the work the charity helps fund, and how it's helping people in this area who are fighting cancer, I knew for sure who I wanted to support during my year as captain.

"I've been a referee for over five decades and it's been a great privilege to see some of the players I refereed when they were kids go on to achieve so much in the game.

"Malcolm Smith became a prolific striker with Boro and Burnley but I still remember officiating when he played in the Durham County Schools final when he was just 15.

"I've been very lucky to have developed many friendships though football and it gave me great pleasure to have so many good friends together for the golf day. They all came to help me but mainly to support the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and we were all proud to be doing our bit."

Former players supporting George's charity golf day included Alan Shoulder, Bobby Park, Malcolm Smith, Mick Martin, Jimmy Montgomery, John Craggs, Irvine Natrass, Martin Smith, Alan Murray, Joe Allon, Len Ashurst, Alec Smith, David Barton, John McPhail, Bobby Scaife, John Anderson, Gordon Armstrong, Peter Creamer, Billy Rafferty, Richie Pitt, Kevin Stonehouse, David Wilkes, Dick Malone, Neil Maddison, David Duke and Kevin Smith.

Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in 2008 and it has gone on to raise £4,095,264 to help find more effective treatments for cancer.

It funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria, and which contribute significantly to research into the disease.

The Foundation's medical trustees are always looking for the next breakthrough, the next promising investment into cancer equipment or training and always looking to fulfil Sir Bobby's ambition to help other people facing the hard fight against cancer.

It is supported in that aim by committed Patrons including Alan Shearer, Niall Quinn, Steve Gibson, Delia Smith and Mick Mills.

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.