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Rafa Benitez – One Reason He’s So Loved At Newcastle

The big news yesterday was that Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez visited the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Freeman Hospital’s Northern Centre for Cancer Care, accompanied by Lady Elsie Robson.

The charity was launched by Sir Bobby back in March, 2008, the year before he passed away of cancer and it has already raised more than  £10M for research.

Sir Bobby launched his charity with an initial aim to raise £500K to equip the drug trials centre, so it has well exceeded its initial goals.


Lady Elsie Robson with Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez is interested in all charity organizations that do such good work in the Newcastle area and he met with Lady Elsie to be shown around the facility.

Rafa has also made a point of making the Newcastle United Foundation a cornerstone of the club and recently attended the awards dinner with a number of his players and coaching staff.

It’s this interest in everything connected to Newcastle United that has endeared the Spanish manager to Newcastle fans – plus the fact he’s a terrific coach and a really good person.

This is what Rafa said yesterday about the visit:

“It was wonderful to meet Lady Elsie and all the staff at the Sir Bobby Robson Centre including Professor Plummer, who is clearly world-class at her job.”

“The foundation are doing some fantastic work and the Sir Bobby Robson Centre is an inspiration.” “It was a huge pleasure to meet everyone involved.”

Access to the Sir Bobby Robson Centre is by  ‘The Football Corridor’ which has photos of Sir Bobby’s long and very successful career playing football and in football management.


Lady Elsie and Rafa in the football corridor


Professor Ruth Plummer describes what the facility does
Ruth is Director of the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre

This is what Lady Elsie said about Rafa and his visit:

“I’ve been lucky to meet lots of wonderful people in football over many years but, oddly, I’ve not met Rafa until now.”

“It was lovely of him to take time out of what I know must be a very busy schedule to join us.”

“Bob would be thrilled to see so much positivity surrounding Newcastle United and, of course, so much of that is down to their manager.

“Rafa was extremely interested in the technical aspects of the work we fund.”

“Along with what sounds like an all-consuming passion for football, that’s something he has in common with my husband.”

“Bob always wanted to know the minute details of absolutely everything we fund.”

“I know the people who are kind enough to raise money for us aren’t all football fans, but football is really where we started.”

“It’s how we were able to begin this charity and do so much good together, in one big team as it were.”

“We’re extremely grateful to Newcastle United for everything they’ve done for us over the years and it’s marvellous to have their continued support.”

It is inspiring to see everything good that’s being done in the name of Sir Bobby, Lady Elsie and  Newcastle United Football Club – long may it continue.

2 comments so far

  • Mag52

    Nov 10, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #1

    Good story to start the day Ed.

  • martoon

    Nov 10, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #2

    I have recent experience of this and I can tell you what a brilliant facility it is and a fantastic legacy left by Sir Bobby.
    The Overrated Frenchman won’t like this but it shows the quality of the man Rafa is. Did Pardew, Carver or McClaren ever visit the centre?


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