Joe McElderry

A local junior football club will be holding a collection before Saturday's Premier League match against Chelsea to help raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Winlaton Juniors Football Club are doing their bit to remember the legendary former Newcastle and England manager, splitting proceeds of their collection between their own club and the charity.

And the youngsters were paid a surprise visit by a pop star this week to thank them for their generous efforts.

X Factor and Popstar to Operastar winner Joe McElderry, who hails from South Shields, is one of the headline acts performing at 'Sir Bobby Robson - A Celebration'.

The concert, at the Sage, in Gateshead, on Monday, 18th February, will bring together Sir Bobby's family and friends with top musicians, comedians and big names from the football world.

Joe was supposed to be in the recording studio this week. However, his travel plans were disrupted by the winter weather and, with an unexpected break in his schedule, he took the opportunity to meet and thank Winlaton Juniors for their support.

He said: "I was very touched to hear about Winlaton Juniors' offer to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation with this collection.

"With everyone doing a bit we can really help make a difference against this terrible disease."

As well as posing for photographs with Winlaton Juniors, Joe visited Sir Bobby's memorial garden at Gallowgate and signed autographs for young fans in the Newcastle United club shop.