Sporting legend Sir Bobby Robson’s widow has become president of a North East football club in honour of her husband.
Lady Elsie Robson was delighted to be asked to be President of County Durham’s Tow Law Town AFC.
Members of the club have never forgotten Sir Bobby for helping save them during one of their darkest hours.
In 2001, the club was struggling financially as the foot-and-mouth crisis impacted on supporter numbers and gate receipts.
Club stalwart, Charlie Donaghy, invited Sir Bobby, then Newcastle United manager, to a fundraising talk-in at the Ironworks Road ground to raise much needed funds and he immediately agreed.
It was a memorable night, repeated two years later, and the money raised helped keep Tow Law Town afloat during difficult times.
As a thank you, the club has now raised £4,100 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation to help in the fight against cancer. Lady Robson said: “I’d like to say thank you from our hearts to Charlie and everyone at Tow Law Town for raising so much money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. We’re very grateful.
“I was honoured to be offered the chance to become President of the club and it was an honour I was proud to accept.”
Mr Donaghy said raising the money had been a team effort by the club and the local community.
He said: “I first met Sir Bobby when he officially opened The Northern League Club at Tow Law. We looked after him well that day and he promised me he’d help us if ever we needed it.
“Sir Bobby really did help save this club.
“We were in terrible straits and the money raised from his talk in made a tremendous difference.
“He stayed all night. In fact, he stayed so late Lady Elsie rang up to check with his Newcastle United colleague Charlie Woods to see how the night was going.
“It was wonderful and I think he enjoyed it as much as we did. We’ve always been grateful for his help.”
In August, the FA organised the Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day in celebration of the nation’s favourite game and one of English football’s most iconic figures.
It was part of the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations and, on the day, 150 events took place across the country – providing a showcase of The FA’s work at grassroots level.
One of those events was the first match of the new season in the Northern League Division Two at Tow Law Town and the club raised money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.