Sir Alex Ferguson adds personal touch to charity auction

Painting by artist Ben Mosley pays homage to Sir Alex Ferguson
Painting by artist Ben Mosley pays homage to Sir Alex Ferguson
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Sports icon Sir Alex Ferguson has added a personal touch to a prize in Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction as the fund-raiser enters its last days.

Lot 44, a painting of the former Manchester United manager by renowned artist Ben Mosley, has been enhanced by a personal invitation.

The winning bidder will be asked, along with a guest, to attend the Manchester United game against Newcastle United on December 7 at Old Trafford.

There they will have lunch and meet Sir Alex Ferguson, who will sign the painting.

Sir Ferguson said he was ‘very proud’ to support the auction being held in honour of his ‘dear friend’ Sir Bobby Robson.

He said: “In my 27 years working in England, there is not a person I would put an inch above Bobby Robson.

“He was a great friend, a wonderful individual, a tremendous football man and somebody with passion and knowledge of the game that was unsurpassed.”

He added: “The strength and courage he showed over the many years when battling against his fifth bout of cancer was indescribable.

“Always a smile, always a friendly word, with never a mention of his own problems.

“The world, not just the football world, misses him, as I do. Let’s hope it won’t be long before another like him turns up.”

Now in its final week, the auction has received more than 300 items donated from sports stars, celebrities and leading business.

It aims to raise £1 million for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and cancer services within West Suffolk and Ipswich Hospitals.

On Thursday, Sir Bobby’s widow Lady Elsie Robson is due to officially open West Suffolk’s new £240,000 integrated imaging and breast care unit, which was funded by a generous legacy left to the Friends of West Suffolk Hospital.

As part of the visit, she is expected to unveil a specially commissioned piece of glass artwork, taken from an original painting by Bury St Edmunds artist Caroline Blake.

Named The Lady Elsie Robson Unit, the new look department has brought assessment, imaging and diagnostic services together, providing more convenience for patients.

The auction, backed by headline supporter BT Sport, got underway on October 10 and will run until Sunday (October 27).

Items up for grabs include football fan experiences, luxury escapes, golf getaways, distillery courses, sporting memorabilia and celebrity meet and greets.

To view the catalogue of prizes and register to bid, go to www.the-saleroom.com/sirbobbysbreakthroughauction