AUF Wiedersehen, Pet stars Tim Healy, Kevin Whately and Jimmy Nail have been tunefully reunited in a very special tribute to Sir Bobby Robson.
The popular North East acting trio got together in a recording studio to put down their own version of Geordie anthem, The Blaydon Races, complete with a specially-commissioned verse, dedicated to the late Newcastle and England manager.
“It was lovely to see Kevin and Jimmy again, as always,” said Tim. “And we had a great time recording the song for a brilliant man.
“We all loved Sir Bobby and it was really lovely to have the chance to do something in tribute to him.”
The recording of the song makes up part of an upcoming DVD release, A Knight To Remember, which looks back on Sir Bobby’s life and achievements, and includes his last ever interviews, as well as contributions from family, friends and the great and good of football.
Tim, Kevin and Jimmy are joined by a stellar cast who all share stories and memories of the much-loved and missed statesman of the beautiful game.
Seventy five percent of proceeds from the DVD, which is to be launched at a special event next week, will go to the Bobby Robson Foundation.
“It’s an honour to be part of it,” said Tim. “I was lucky enough, and am really thankful that I went to the charity game, the week before Sir Bobby died. We had a long chat and my youngest son, Louis got the chance to meet him.
“He was an amazing man.”
Although accustomed to belting out The Blaydon Races on the terraces, Tim, who also attended the moving memorial service for Sir Bobby at Durham Cathedral in September, admitted recording the full song was a whole new ball game.
“I usually just sing it at the match, so we had to have the words on a sheet,” he laughed. “There are so many verses that people don’t often sing.” And then of course, there was the bespoke verse for Sir Bobby, written by North East singer/songwriter, Billy Mitchell who was thrilled to contribute.
He said: “I wanted, somehow, to say what I felt about the man. When I learned Jimmy, Tim and Kevin were to sing The Blaydon Races, I knew the way to do it would be to write a new verse to finish the song. Hopefully it says what we all feel about Bobby Robson.”
Pauline Buglass, head of fundraising for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, said: “We’re thrilled three such high-profile Geordies have come together to record The Blaydon Races for us.
“It’s a wonderful, upbeat and very special version of the song and we hope everyone who hears it will remember Sir Bobby on the touchline at St James’ Park and his incredible commitment to fighting cancer after his football career ended.” Details are being finalised to make the new recording of The Blaydon Races available to download.
WHEN Billy Mitchell was asked to write a new verse for the Bobby Robson mix of The Blaydon Races, inspiration wasn’t hard to find.
He said: “The last time I spoke to Sir Bobby was at a Burns Supper in January when I sang for the first time since my operation for throat cancer. At the end of the night, my son Tom and I were invited to Sir Bobby's table for a bit of craic. His main interest was in how I was. “When asked how he was doing with his cancer, he would deftly change the subject, and bring the conversation back to how much he had enjoyed the evening, and how much he admired young musicians like Tom.
“The Blaydon Races is a fitting vehicle to convey what we all feel about Bobby Robson.”
The new verse for Sir Bobby is: “And now a word for Bobby Robson, hero of the Toon; A football man, a gentleman, who never let we doon; A friendly word, a cheery smile, and brave right to the end; We're proud to say your one of wors, Sir Bob... Auf Wiedersehen.”