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Sir Bobby returns home a knight

PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 March 2010

JUBILANT Sir Bobby Robson today returned to his hometown, to support a cancer appeal just days after being knighted.

The soccer star took a rare break from the World Cup fever to revisit Ipswich Hospital where he was treated for face cancer seven years ago.

JUBILANT Sir Bobby Robson today returned to his hometown, to support a cancer appeal just days after being knighted.

The soccer star took a rare break from the World Cup fever to revisit Ipswich Hospital where he was treated for face cancer seven years ago.

The smiling former patient was welcomed back by his consultant Huw Davies who Sir Bobby credits with saving his life, and members of the hospital's League of Friends, for whom he launched the Bobby Robson Jubilee Appeal a month ago.

Sir Bobby, on his first official engagement since his knighthood was announced, said: "People have been calling me by the title this weekend, but I suspect it was more for fun than respect!"

He said it had been an easy decision to back the Jubilee Appeal and lend it his famous name.

It has already raised £5,000, and organisers aim to raise enough to buy a £70,000 double-headed microscope for reconstructive surgery.

Sir Bobby said: "They saved my life at this hospital, so what they are asking me to do is nothing compared to what these people did for me. Huw has needed this piece of equipment for nine years. It's double-headed, so by using it, his colleagues will be able to learn from him.

"Cancer can affect anyone, young and old. I've never smoked or drunk and I developed a malignant melanoma. You never know what's round the corner.

"Early diagnosis is crucial. It's happened to me and I'd say to people who are hiding it, not bringing it out, leaving it too long, not to put off getting checked. I've still got a heartbeat and am enjoying life!"

The Newcastle boss added this morning: "The World Cup is opening up for us.

"We are on a stepping stone across the river, doing fine, and getting better. The team mustn't be afraid of the next match. It could be Belgium - we will know in four hours' time – and the rivals should be afraid of England! Who knows what might happen."

Sir Bobby also backed Clued Up On Cancer, a new roadshow due to visit Ipswich soon, to spread the word about how to reduce the risk of cancer, and the importance of getting early diagnosis and treatment.

The roadshow is being run by five cancer networks, including Mid Anglia, in partnership with Anglia TV and CSV Media.

Well-known faces including television presenters Helen McDermott and Caroline Oldrey will appear at some of the 30 venues.

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