Great prizes and new supporters see Sir Bobby auction return with a bang

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A chance to be at the UEFA Champions League final, watch Barcelona at the Nou Camp or play at the home of the England football team will go under the virtual hammer as a fantastic online auction in memory of Sir Bobby Robson returns with a bang.

The Sir Bobby’s Online Auction has raised more than £700,000 since it was started four years ago by veteran fundraiser and charity campaigner and Suffolk Magazine journalist Gina Long.

The money has directly helped the fight against cancer, most notably by the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation which the football legend set up in 2008 to support cancer projects and international research into the disease.

This year’s auction – which takes place between Saturday 14 November and Sunday 29 November – has already attracted more than 80 items and will again be raising money for the Foundation as well as In The Game – the official charity of the League Managers Association, Gina’s own charitable foundation Geewizz and West Suffolk Hospital Charity.

It will continue the theme of offering money-can’t-buy auction items – ensuring there is a perfect Christmas present for all the family.

Going under the hammer is a chance to line up and be managed by a LMA Ambassador in the special talkSPORT Football Tournament, in association with the LMA and St George’s Park, at the home of England’s national team.

You could also be rubbing shoulders with Ronaldo or Messi courtesy of two VIP tickets to the Ballon d’Or Awards, watch Barcelona train and play at the Nou Camp, take in a once-in-a-lifetime Russian football experience courtesy of Andre Villas Boas or enjoy VIP tickets for next year’s Champions League final in Milan.

Away from football, there are a host of lifestyle prizes ensuring a perfect present for any member of the family this Christmas.

Top experiences include an array of fine dining and hotel stays, a chance to spend the day recording a song at the same studio as John Newman, Rudimental and Emile Sande, enjoying the Disney on Ice spectacular or watching Ant and Dec live from the Saturday Night Takeaway studio.

The auction was the brainchild of Gina Long, a friend of the Robson family for 35 years, who revealed she knows exactly why it has captured the imagination on a global scale. She said:

“Sir Bobby was a colossal global figure in football and the love and respect people still have for him is reflected in the unbelievable money-can’t-buy prizes that we are so fortunate to receive.“

“It never ceases to amaze me the tremendous response from both old and new donors but we are always encouraging more money-can’t-buy prizes and experience to be donated.“

“This year, we are putting every effort into trying to reach a total raised of £1 million to support some amazing and worthwhile causes, both nationally and in Suffolk.“

Lady Elsie Robson said:

“We’re extremely lucky to receive the support we do. It’s not something we ever take for granted.“

“It’s wonderful to know that people still think so fondly of Bob that they want to help his Foundation and help us find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer.”

Richard Bevan, LMA chief executive, said:

“We are very proud to be one of the beneficiaries of the Sir Bobby’s Online Auction 2015.
“Sir Bobby Robson was a true gentleman and a football management great whose legacy lives on with the managers we support on a daily basis.
“He is a legend and we are indebted to everyone who has supported Sir Bobby’s Online Auction with such wonderful money-can’t-buy prizes.”

Stephen Dunn, chief executive of West Suffolk NHS Foundation, added:

“We are delighted to once again be a beneficiary of the Sir Bobby’s Online Auction. Since it launched four years ago, it has made a huge difference to so many lives and money raised from this year will directly help patients and their families at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

“Gina Long is a wonderful supporter of the hospital and recently agreed to become the first ambassador of both the hospital and West Suffolk Hospital Charity. We are delighted that this wonderful online auction cements that partnership further.”

The auction, which is supported by MailOnline and talkSPORT, goes live on Saturday 14th November. To find out more, visit www.sirbobbysauction.com or follow @SBonlineauction.

To speak to the auction team about donating a prize, please email gina@sirbobbysuaction.com.