The black and white third kit features the charity’s logo and will be worn by the Vikings during the opening game of the 2015 First Utility Magic Weekend, when they play Salford Red Devils at St James’ Park on 30 May.
All profits from sales of the shirt come to the charity and it was launched in February with help from Newcastle United legend and Widnes Vikings’ Magic Weekend Ambassador, Peter Beardsley.
There is strong support for the partnership from both the North West and North East, and celebrities who have tweeted their support include Phoenix Nights star and Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness, the cast of Hollyoaks, Spice Girl Melanie C, Sunday Brunch stars Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy,Bath Rugby’s Sam Burgess, former footballer Dietmar Hamann, comedian John Bishop and Sunderland AFC legend and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Patron Niall Quinn.
With the Magic Weekend fast approaching, Paddy McGuinness pledged his support during a break from filming his new Channel 4 quizshow, Benchmark, by tweeting “Great work @WidnesRL over 10k raised so far for the SBRFoundation” and a picture of him on set with the shirt.
Paddy is no stranger to supporting the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and he played at St James’ Park when he took part in a charity football match supporting the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in 2009.
The Sir Bobby Robson Trophy match was played in honour of the former England and Newcastle United manager and it proved to be Sir Bobby’s last public appearance.
The game was a replay of the famous Italia ’90 World Cup semi-final in Turin and featured English and German players from the original 1990 World Cup squads.
McGuiness represented England alongside six of the original 1990 starting eleven who won the game 3-2, watched by 33,000 spectators in the stadium.
Widnes Vikings are donating 100% of the profits raised from the sale of the club’s 2015 special edition Magic Weekend shirt to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the charity set up in 2008 by the former England manager.
Vikings Director, Brian O’Connor, commented: “It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Vikings fundraising efforts in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation have reached a milestone five figure amount. Thanks to Paddy and the other high profile endorsements we have received we have already raised over £10,000 with plenty of time remaining to further increase this figure.
“I would like to thank each of our supporters who have purchased a shirt to date for their contribution and would remind supporters who have not yet purchased a special edition Magic Weekend shirt that only orders placed prior to May 1st will be guaranteed delivery or will be available for collection prior to the Magic Weekend.”
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation helps find effective ways to detect and treat cancer. It funds projects, including the clinical trials of new drugs, that directly benefit patients from across the North East and Cumbria and which contribute significantly to international research into cancer.
The Parcel Centre, the Vikings’ principal sponsor for the 2015, vacated their sponsorship space on the front of the Magic Weekend shirt and gifted the space to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
In addition to their initial gesture, they are also offering half-price postage to all supporters that buy a shirt.
Dave Hughes, The Parcel Centre chief executive commented: “This initiative is a phenomenal one and could well raise a great deal of money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. We were more than happy to give up our space on the Vikings shirt to allow the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation to help raise awareness of the fantastic charity and the invaluable work they do.
“Our business is all about delivering cost effective postal services so it makes perfect sense for us to further support the Vikings Magic Weekend shirt initiative by cutting the postal costs for supporters.
“We would like nothing more than to see a packed out St James’ Park filled with black and white Sir Bobby Robson shirts at the Magic Weekend. We hope the reduction in postal fees will encourage even more fans all over the country to back this initiative and snap up a special edition Sir Bobby Robson shirt.”
Due to the nature of the Vikings charity initiative for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Magic Weekend shirts are being manufactured to order. Widnes Vikings would therefore advise supporters to pre-order the Magic Weekend shirt by May 1st to guarantee that items will be delivered/available for collection prior to the Magic Weekend event.
Magic Weekend shirts are available online at www.widnesvikings.co.uk or by calling the Vikings Superstore on 0151 495 2250 (option 2).
Tickets for the Magic Weekend are also available from the Vikings Superstore and ticket hotline 0151 495 2250 (option 2)
There are four different ticket prices available in all price categories: Regular Adult, Regular Concession, Season Pass Adult & Season Pass Concession
Cat 1 Day Reserved £40.00/£22.50/£22.50/£11.25
Cat 2 Day Un-Reserved £30.00/£17.50/£17.50/£8.75
Cat 3 Day Un-Reserved £20.00/£12.50/£12.50/£6.25
Cat 1 Weekend Reserved £65.00/£35.00/£35.00/£17.50
Cat 2 Weekend Un-Reserved £50.00/£27.50/£27.50/£13.75
Cat 3 Weekend Un-Reserved £35.00/£20.00/£20.00/£10.00