Stars line up to pay tribute to Sir Bobby at charity do

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ONLY Sir Bobby Robson could bring together such an ambitious and vibrant line up, including Russell Watson, Joe McElderry, Ruby Turner, Alistair McGowan, Mark Knopfler and Maximo Park’s Paul Smith, for an event to raise money for charity.

Sir Bobby Robson, a Celebration, was held at the Sage Gateshead on Monday night, with many of the acts making the journey to the iconic building from all over the world to be part of it.

The event itself, billed as a celebration of the life of Sir Bobby on what would have been his 80th birthday, was a night that many will savour for a very long time.

Joe McElderry performed Nessun Dorma, a haunting piece of music that now seems synonymous with the former England manager and his time at Italia 90.

Paul Smith took on the guise of Frank Sinatra and sang It Was a Very Good Year, one of Sir Bobby’s ‘Desert Island Discs’, and Russell Watson performed Barcelona.

Sir Bobby’s friend and TV presenter Jim Rosenthal joined in the fun too, interviewing Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, and Newcastle players Shola Ameobi and Steve Harper live on stage.

They all shared their memories of Sir Bobby and paid tribute to the help he’d given them in their careers.

Sir Bobby even managed to inspire Newcastle manager Alan Pardew on the night, who after hearing the stories, boldly declared on stage: “I’m going to play my strongest team on Thursday night because we want to win a trophy,” which brought unanimous cheering and applause from everyone in the audience.

On what was undoubtedly a very memorable, poignant and emotional night, one thing remained as clear at the end as it had been at the start – there’s only one Sir Bobby Robson.