England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has spoken of his honour in supporting the Sir Bobby Robson online auction – while revealing the legendary manager once tried to sign him.
The country’s greatest goalscorer has used his record-breaking achievement of scoring 51 times for England to support the online auction which was founded near Bury St Edmunds.
It raises money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and other national and local charities.
The auction – which has attracted 140 items from the world of sport, celebrity and lifestyle – runs until Sunday, November 29 with Rooney joining the likes of Jose Mourinho, Theo Walcott and his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, in backing the global fundraiser.
Rooney revealed that he was a ‘keen historian’ of his country’s footballing history and that he was proud to support the auction by donating a commemorative England shirt marking his achievement as the Three Lions’ greatest goalscorer – one of only 50 made.
He said: “Sir Bobby Robson was a football man to the core and someone who once tried to sign me for Newcastle.”
The winning bidder can also have a special dedication written on the shirt by Rooney, who broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s 45-year goalscoring record in September.
Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson, who himself described Sir Bobby as an inspiration, has donated an incredible sketchbook drawn by Salford artist Harold Riley chronicling Manchester United’s dramatic comeback to lift the Champions League trophy in 1999.
On behalf of the Robson family, Mark Robson said: “Even after he moved on from the national team, Dad never missed an England game at Wembley and he would have been thrilled to bits to have seen Wayne’s 50th goal.”
The auction, which was founded by veteran fundraiser and charity campaigner Gina Long, has also received support from individuals and businesses in Suffolk
The money raised goes to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation which the football legend set up in 2008 to support cancer projects and international research into the disease.
Other beneficiaries from this year are the In The Game – League Manager’s Association Charity, the GeeWizz charitable foundation and West Suffolk Hospital Charity.
To view the auction, register and place a bid, visit www.sirbobbysauction.com