On Sunday (27th November) local rivalries will be put to one side as the region’s football community comes together to celebrate the very best of the 2010/2011 football season.

Sponsored by Barclays, the 2011 North East Football Writers’ Association awards dinner at Ramside Hall in Durham is a regular highlight in the region’s football calendar.  It will be attended by a star-studded guest list, which includes players, managers, directors and officials from of all the north east football clubs.

The event will once again be raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and this year, for the first time, the Association and the charity will be jointly making an award to honour one of the region’s most respected football professionals.

The inaugural North East Football Writers’ Association’s Personality of the Year, in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, will be presented to Sunderland AFC’s Niall Quinn in recognition of his five years as the club’s chairman and his wider contribution to the local community.

Lady Elsie Robson was particularly pleased to agree the nomination given Niall’s role as a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and his close links with her husband.

Commenting on Niall receiving the new award, Lady Elsie said: “My family and I are very proud that the inaugural Personality of the Year is not only going to a great football man, but also to a man who represents our charity so magnificently.

“He truly does maintain the same kind of football and community ethos as my husband.

“After we lost my husband, my family and I realised we needed support from Patrons who could help us continue the important work of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.  Niall was one of the very first people I thought to ask for help.

“I know Bob would have approved whole-heartedly of Niall’s involvement with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and we’re very grateful for his ongoing support.

“As everyone knows, my husband was a Newcastle United fan but he loved to visit the Stadium of Light.  He was always very well looked after by Niall and they had a wonderful relationship based on mutual respect.
Since Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie launched the charity in 2008, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has raised over £3.5 million to help find more effective treatments for cancer.

The Foundation is a fund within the local NHS charity and the substantial support it receives because of this means it can limit administrative costs to less than one percent.

It funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria, including the clinical trials of drugs at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.

To make a donation, view messages of support, or for more information please visit www.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk or donate by sending a cheque to Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Room 203, Cheviot Court, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN.