Delia Smith CBE – Britain’s best selling cookery writer and joint majority shareholder in Norwich City Football Club – has been named as a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation at a dinner to raise funds for the charity.

Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Ball at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, also raised money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Lady Elsie Robson is taking the opportunity to announce Delia’s new role.

Lady Elsie says: "After my husband died I asked a small group of friends if they would help support our ongoing efforts fighting cancer through the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Delia was one of those people and, very kindly, she immediately agreed. Since then we’ve been waiting for an appropriate occasion to announce her support.

“It’s taken a bit longer than any of us had planned and I’m happy that we’re finally in a position to thank Delia publicly for her behind the scenes support. Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Ball will be a wonderful event and a very fitting occasion to welcome Delia formally as a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”

Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in March 2008 to help find more effective ways to treat and diagnose cancer. It funds projects which directly benefit cancer patients including the clinical trials of new drugs at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Delia joins a select group of high profile supporters as a Patron of the charity. Sir Bobby’s Ipswich Town captain Mick Mills, Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer, Sunderland AFC’s Niall Quinn and Middlesbrough FC chairman Steve Gibson all generously contribute in that role.

Delia says: "Sir Bobby was a great friend and inspiration to me for many years, and it is a privilege to help continue the magnificent work he and Elsie started in any way I can. Cancer knows no boundaries, and it is wonderful that this is one struggle in which all football clubs have united. This evening is just one step towards the ultimate aim – of eradicating the scourge of this disease.

“It will happen, and by supporting Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction and Ball we can make it happen sooner rather than later. I look forward to a record-breaking evening.”

Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Ball and Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction aim to raise £250,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

The online auction has attracted 160 lots which include unforgettable sporting and television experiences, unique memorabilia donated by some of the biggest names in football and incredible luxury holidays.

Football clubs across the UK, and as far away as the USA, have donated genuinely ‘money can’t buy’ prizes and the auction has the support of all of Sir Bobby’s teams.

Lady Elsie adds: "One of the greatest strengths of our charity, and something I know my husband was immensely proud of, is the way football clubs have joined together to back our cause.

“In his last book, Bob wrote that cancer takes no account of your team, your age or anything else and the wonderful support we’re receiving from football clubs all over the world reflects that. We’re extremely grateful to Delia and all the football clubs and fans who are contributing to our fight against cancer.”

Norwich City is generously contributing to Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction by offering the opportunity to present the Anglian Home Improvements Player of the Month Award on the pitch at Carrow Road. The prize also includes two tickets to the Premier League fixture between Norwich City and Sir Bobby’s former club Newcastle United on Saturday 10th December and a meal at the Gunn Club.

For more details on Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction or to make a donation, go to www.sirbobbysbreakthroughauction.com or follow via Twitter @sirbobbyauction.

The majority of auction lots end on Sunday 23rd October.

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