Sunderland AFC and Newcastle United fan puts club rivalry aside to raise cash for Sir Bobby Robson Foundation

A group of Sunderland AFC and Newcastle United fans have come together to raise money in memory of North East footballing legend Sir Bobby Robson.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 12:18 pm
The team from Sid’s Tours present the cheque for money raised to charity Patron, Steve Harper. Pic: Serena Taylor/NUFC

The fans, who have been fundraising together for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, visited St James’s Park to meet charity patron Steve Harper.

Steve, who had spells at both clubs and is now a First Team Coach at Newcastle United, was delighted to receive the cheque for £5,213.

For nearly two decades, fans from in and around Chester-le-Street, known as ‘Sid's Tours,’ have been fundraising for local charities.

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For the last four years, they have been supporting the Foundation, raising more than £20,000 for the North East cancer charity.

“I enjoyed meeting Sid’s Tours at St James’s and it was great to hear about their annual fundraising for the Foundation,” said Steve.

“I know Sir Bobby would be proud to see fans from Newcastle and Sunderland coming together like this. As he said, cancer takes no account of colours

“Black and white, red and white, we’re all the same, and it’s important that we continue to support cancer research in our region for the good of us all.”

Sid’s Tours, is organised by Kevin and Alison Atkinson from Chester-le-Street and, last year, Lady Elsie Robson was proud to receive the cheque for the money they raised during 2018 when she visited the Stadium of Light.

Kevin said: “Sid’s Tours has really grown over the years. We all have a great time together and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved for charity as well.”

“Since we started, we’ll have raised over £85,000 for local causes and it feels very right to support the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation because it’s a charity helping cancer patients across the whole region.”

The total this year included the collection from the funeral of Newcastle United fan, John ‘Hacka’ Marland.

John, from Chester-le-Street, was a regular on Sid’s Tours trips away and a season ticket holder at St James’ Park for 30 years. Daughter, Julie Smith, came with the group to St James’ Park.

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