STARS were at a glamorous ball in Bury St Edmunds last Thursday, helping to boost a charity fund-raising total to £200,000.
Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Ball, held at The Apex, in Charter Square, saw more than 150 guests putting cancer research first.
Lady Elsie Robson was joined by TV chef and charity patron Delia Smith, and the heroes of Ipswich Town’s 1981 UEFA Cup-winning side, including skipper Mick Mills.
After a four-course meal and speeches, auctioneer Edward Crichton, from Lacy, Scott and Knight, took centre stage with bidders fighting it out for 10 money-can’t-buy lots.
The biggest winner of the night was Paul Milsom, of Milsom Hotels, who splashed £5,500 on the chance to play at Portman Road. Mr Milsom and friends will be managed by Mick Mills.
After £50,000 had been racked up in the auction, a bonus lot was in store after the winner of the night’s £40 a ticket raffle was announced.
Peter Crichton, father of auctioneer Edward, could have walked away with a luxury Grana Bahama holiday, but instead had his son auction it off to put a further £1,900 in the bank.
Gina Long, who organised the event in memory of Sir Bobby Robson and breast cancer campaigner Sally Balch, called the night a ‘magnificent success’ and ‘beyond our wildest dreams’.
An online auction featuring 188 lots, including driving and sporting experiences, sports memorabilia, luxury treats and holidays, ended on Sunday, bringing the total raised for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer to an incredible £202,774.
It was supported by all of Sir Bobby’s former teams, all the Premier League clubs, Celtic, Rangers and representatives from the world of rugby, horse racing, snooker, tennis and cricket.
Gary Lineker, Ant and Dec, Katherine Jenkins, Graeme Swann and Sir Alex Ferguson all donated prizes to help make the auction a success.
So did Arsene Wenger, Denise Welch, Andre Villas-Boas, Harry Redknapp and Fabio Capello.
The online auction’s star lot was Jose Mourinho’s Fifa World Coach of the Year 2010 trophy, which sold for a staggering £26,000, followed by an FC Barcelona experience with personal presentation by Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola for £12,100.
Mrs Long, from Fornham St Martin, said: “I’m just overwhelmed by the public’s generosity. It’s been an amazing opportunity because Bobby and Sally were very dear friends of mine for over 30 years and I wanted to honour their memory with the utmost respect.”