WEEKEND FIXTURE REMEMBERS SIR BOBBY ROBSON
Saturday's game against Newcastle United will provide supporters of both teams with the opportunity to mark what would have been Sir Bobby Robson's 80th birthday. Fans can make a donation to the charity of the home side's former manager.
Having launched back in 2008, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which was described by its founder as 'the legacy he wanted to leave for others fighting cancer', celebrates its five-year anniversary in March.
Robson, who passed away in 2009, would have turned 80 on 18 February, and it seems fitting that Chelsea are Newcastle's opponents on their home game closest to that date after the Blues played such a part in his development as a coach.
In between his coaching stints at Fulham and Ipswich Town, between November 1968 and January 1969, Robson was given a job as opposition scout at Stamford Bridge by Dave Sexton, our manager at the time, and it was a move which ultimately led to his first managerial position.
Ahead of a game against Ipswich on Boxing Day, while paying close attention to the tactics used by our opponents, he was approached by an Ipswich director and ended up as the manager at Portman Road a matter of days later.
Lady Elsie Robson, Bobby's wife, said the job at Chelsea was a major boost for her husband as it kept him involved in football at a crucial time.
Prior to kick-off at Saturday's game, a local junior football club will be collecting donations for the Foundation outside St James' Park.
The Foundation was launched by Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie in order to equip a new cancer drug trials research centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The charity's main aims are to find better ways to detect and treat cancer, and to do so while directly helping patients currently fighting the disease. It also helps fund projects which improve cancer patient care, and thus far has raised more than £4.7million.