CHAMPAGNE flowed and sporting legends mingled at the glistening grand finale of Robbie Elliott’s charity challenge.
The former Newcastle United star hosted a glamorous fundraising dinner at Gateshead’s Hilton Hotel to mark the end of his 3,500-mile cycle ride across Europe.
Sporting legends, including Jackie Charlton, Peter Beardsley and Rob Lee, gathered to congratulate Robbie and help support the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Dressed to impress, around 300 guests sat down to a three-course dinner before turning their attention to the evening’s entertainment and charity auction.
The Geordie Legends charity dinner marked the end of Robbie’s Bike for Bobby challenge, which saw the 38-year-old cycle 3,500 miles across Europe in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Robbie, who was joined at the evening by his wife and children, said: “It’s been quite strange since the ride finished. For the last eight or nine months, I have been training for it and now I feel a bit flat.
“Thankfully, we had tonight to organise and look forward to. Everyone has done a fantastic job. Hopefully, we’ll raise as much money as possible for the Robbie Elliott Foundation.
“Tonight is really a thank you to all the people who helped with Bike for Bobby and to officially round it all off. It’s a great turnout, I think 300 people are here, so I’m really pleased. It’s a fantastic testament for it all. I have no idea how much we’ve raised yet. This event shows we have done it for all the right reasons, everyone is here to support the charity.
“To be honest, though, I’m a bit out of my comfort zone, getting up on stage in front of everyone isn’t my cup of tea! I’ll probably faint or something! I’d prefer to be on my bike.”
Sir Bobby’s widow, Lady Elsie, was at the event to show her support for Robbie’s charity challenge.
Also on hand was football legend Jackie Charlton. He said: “I think what Robbie has done has been very, very good. I would never of dreamed of doing something like that.
“Bob really got round places in Europe and for this lad to visit them all on a bike is a hell of a job. I’ve never met him but I will be very interested to talk to him tonight and congratulate him and shake his hand. I think he must have been a bit potty to do it but it’s for a great cause and I’m sure Bob would have been really pleased.”
After dinner, guests started the bidding for the charity auction, which included prizes such as a bronze replica Sir Bobby Robson statue, Robbie’s Bike for Bobby bike and lots more.
Later, they were entertained by footage from a Bike For Bobby documentary and music and comedy from Simon Donald.
Robbie completed the charity cycle with co-rider Phil Gray in 25 days, undergoing bad weather, rough terrain and near misses, not to mention exhaustion and illness.
To donate to Bike For Bobby visit www.bikeforbobby.com