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Sir Bobby Robson's former clubs like West Brom, Ipswich and Newcastle join in National Football Day

The first Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day takes place today – and 150 nationwide events will help celebrate England’s favourite game.

The event is Aimed at showcasing The Football Association’s work at the grassroots level of football, the initiative gives the whole of the country the chance to get involved. Not surprisngly Bobby's former clubs like West Brom, Ipswich and Newcastle United are at the forefront of the celebrations although the main focus is grass roots football.

The events – being held by County FA’s and FA Charter Standard clubs – are open to people of all ages and abilities.

And with the public able to join in everything from tournaments to skills sessions and coaching workshops, you can expect a feast of football this weekend.

National Football Day will provide a focus on every aspect of the game including women’s football, disability football, refereeing and coaching.

Looking at what Bobby's former clubs are up to today, West Brom are today promoting National Football Day - Sir Bobby played for the Baggies between 1956 and 1962, making 257 appearances and scoring 61 goals.

He made his name here at The Hawthorns, captaining the club and breaking into the England side, travelling to the 1958 and 1962 World Cups.

There, under the leadership of England manager Walter Winterbottom, Robson, along with his Albion colleague Don Howe, caught the coaching bug and began an education that was to shape his post-playing career.

Today will see a focus on every aspect of the game including the women's game, disability football, refereeing and coaching, while fans are also in the spotlight with their support of matches like The Baggies final pre-season friendly against Bologna.

Albion’s head coach Steve Clarke had a spell working under Sir Bobby at Newcastle United, a period which he recalls as crucial to his own personal development.

“For me, as a young coach, working with him was just the best possible environment to be in because I learnt so much in a short time from him,” said Clarke.

“I had a year with him and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

It is a similar story at Ipswich Town where Before their Championship game against Millwall, a minute’s applause will sound around the stadium while a number of Sir Bobby’s old players will gather on the pitch and be presented to the crowd just before kick-off.

The celebrations comes four years since Sir Bobby’s death and as 150 events are set to take place across the country as part of the Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day which also coincides with the Football Association’s (FA) 150th anniversary.

The event comes at a time when support is starting to mount for a campaign to raise £1million which will be used towards the early detection and treatment of cancer and the clinical trials of new drugs to beat the disease.

Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Online Auction, which takes place from October 10-27, is aiming to raise cash for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Ipswich Hospital and West Suffolk Hospital.

Sir Bobby, who died in 2009 aged 76, led England to the World Cup semi-final in 1990 and enjoyed a hugely successful club

Meanwhile at Newcastle  United who play Portuguese side SC Braga in a pre-season friendly today, have announced that they plan to celebrate the Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day by donating match-day fundraising to Sacriston Community Football Club and the Newcastle United Foundation, into whose Hall of Fame Sir Bobby was recently inducted.

Newcastle United will also have a presence there with first team coaches John Carver and Steve Stone in attendance at an FA coaching clinic and tournament at the Sir Bobby Robson Football Centre in Sacriston alongside Lady Elsie Robson on the morning of the match.

The Newcastle United Foundation is providing match tickets for Sacriston and will be inviting ten of its young players onto the pitch at half-time for a special penalty shoot-out.

A matchday lottery will also be in operation to raise funds for both causes and Newcastle United’s players will donate their match-worn strips to an exclusive online auction following the game.

For those who want to find out more and to check how you can take part in one of the events on near you, visit www.­TheFA.­com/­nati­onal­fo­ot­ballday.


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