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Gordon Brown lauds Sir Bobby

PUBLISHED: 10:06 01 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:16 06 July 2010

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown said Sir Bobby Robson “epitomised everything that is great about football in this country”.

He added: “His passion, patriotism, dedication and professionalism knew no equal during his time both as a player and a manager.

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown said Sir Bobby Robson “epitomised everything that is great about football in this country”.

He added: “His passion, patriotism, dedication and professionalism knew no equal during his time both as a player and a manager.”

Richard Caborn, former sports minister and now the Prime Minister's England 2018 World Cup bid representative, added: “He was a legend in the game and extremely helpful to me - his counsel was truly valued.

“He will be sorely missed as epitomising all the very best in English football.”

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair said: “Sir Bobby was one of the nicest, most caring and genuine people I ever met - a real Geordie gentleman.

“He was, of course, an outstanding coach, but he was also immensely generous with his time and energy across a range of charitable activities.

“It was a privilege to have known him.”

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “We are very saddened to hear that Sir Bobby Robson has passed away.

“Sir Bobby was a hugely valued and strong supporter of Cancer Research UK over many years, particularly in his native North East.

“We are very grateful for all that he helped us with and for the impact this will have on cancer patients and their families in the future.

“He approached everything he did with enthusiasm and commitment, making a significant contribution to Cancer Research UK's work by supporting the charity's fundraising and awareness campaigns.

“In recent years Sir Bobby set himself a new goal. He launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation to support clinical trials of promising new treatments to tackle cancer.

“The first £500,000 raised by the Foundation is being used to fund dedicated research facilities at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne, which will enable Cancer Research UK to undertake clinical trials of new treatments.

“But perhaps more than anything, Sir Bobby was a personal inspiration to anyone dealing with cancer.

“Throughout his treatment, he approached the disease with courage and determination.

“Sir Bobby once described those working to find a cure for cancer as 'heroes'.

“Today we have lost another hero, both on and off the pitch, and one who will be much missed by many.”

His foundation raised funds for research through the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, based at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

Sir Leonard Fenwick, chief executive of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I would like to pay tribute to Sir Bobby for his sheer tenacity and commitment in tackling the issues of cancer by involving people from all walks of life and then bringing about a tremendous legacy - the Sir Bobby Robson cancer trials centre - that shall benefit so many people and the furtherance of research.

“He was a truly remarkable man.”

A former Newcastle United employee remembered Sir Bobby for an act of kindness.

James Paterson, 30, from North Shields, was a security guard at the training ground and it was “hammering with rain” one day.

He said: “The players drove in and then Sir Bobby did too and five minutes later he came out with a great big umbrella, put his arm around me and said

“There you go, son, that will keep you dry' and then he walked back into the training centre, getting wet.

“That just typifies the man, he was a pure gentleman.”

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