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Tyne Talk

Ex-NUFC Star On His Bike For Sir Bobby

12 years ago

The Robbie Elliott Foundation:

Today saw the launch of The Robbie Elliott Foundation – an exciting new fundraising venture and the brainchild of the former Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Leeds United and Hartlepool United defender Robbie Elliott.

For many years Robbie has been keen to focus his efforts on raising money for charities involved in the research and treatment of cancer after relatives and friends found themselves affected by the disease.

The Robbie Elliott Foundation will allow the former England Under 21 international to do just that – raising thousands of pounds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. But how?

During October 2012 Robbie and his friend, the triathlete Phil Gray, will take part in Bike For Bobby – an ambitious cycle ride visiting all of the teams Sir Bobby Robson managed during an illustrious career as a coach.

Robbie played for Sir Bobby during his second spell at hometown club Newcastle United. The name Bike For Bobby reflects the former England manager’s influence on Robbie and his respect for one of football’s greatest coaches.

In undertaking Bike For Bobby, Robbie and Phil will cycle non-stop from Lisbon to Newcastle via Porto, Barcelona, Eindhoven, Ipswich and London (Fulham and Wembley). They will cover more than 3,500 miles and cycle as many as 150 miles a day in order to complete their challenge within four weeks.

Once the 2012/13 European club football fixture lists are revealed this summer the route and timings will be finalised. It is hoped Robbie and Phil will arrive at St James’s Park on a home match day for a fitting celebration of their mammoth achievement.

Robbie Elliott:

Once described by Sir Bobby Robson as Newcastle’s ‘very own Roberto Carlos’, the former England Under 21 international defender Robbie Elliott represented Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Leeds United and Hartlepool United.

During a 17-year career as a professional footballer, the Newcastle-born star scored 16 goals in 257 league appearances. Robbie played more than half of his league games for his hometown club and was a member of Kevin Keegan’s famous Entertainers before returning to the club under Sir Bobby.

Now employed by US Soccer as a performance coach, Robbie, 38, also works for Nike as a SPARQ performance coach, based in Portland, Oregon. He splits his time between the USA and his family home on Tyneside.

Phil Gray:

Phil Gray is a celebrated triathlete who first cycled from the North East to the Lake District at the age of 12 and had completed 10 Great North Runs by the age of 22!

Fourth at the 2005 European long distance triathlon – and with 12 Iron Man events under his belt – the Woolsington-based 38-year-old is the perfect partner for Robbie ahead of Bike For Bobby. Phil and Robbie have been friends since 1999.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation:

Since Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in 2008, more than £3.9 million has been raised to help find more effective treatments for cancer.

For more information contact Liz Luff at or go to

Breakthrough Breast Cancer:

Breakthrough Breast Cancer funds groundbreaking research, campaigns for better services and treatments and raises awareness of breast cancer.
Find more information at or contact Richard Purnell in the Breakthrough Breast Cancer office on 020 7025 2432 or email him at


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