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Joe McElderry makes surprise visit to young fundraisers

Joe made a surprise visit to support young fundraisers Photo: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

X Factor winner Joe McElderry surprised a group of young fundraisers who are to stage a collection at Newcastle United's home game against Chelsea.

The South Shields singer joined Winlaton Juniors Football Club as they planned their pre-match fundraising when the Magpies host Chelsea on February 2nd.

The young footballers will be raising funds for their club as well as the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

They were inspired to fundraise because the foundation, and The Alan Shearer Foundation, is hosting a fundraising gala at The Sage Gateshead to mark what would have been Sir Bobby's 80th birthday.

The star-studded event on February 18th sold out within hours of tickets going on sale, but it sparked the fundraising drive of the young footballers.

Young members of the club were at St James' Park this week to plan the details of their collection when they met Joe who is performing at Sir Bobby Robson - A Celebration.

"I was very touched to hear about Winlaton Juniors' offer to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation with this collection.

With everyone doing a bit we can really help make a difference against this terrible disease.

Plans for the Sir Bobby birthday celebration night at The Sage Gateshead are coming along well and I know there are more performers and high-profile guests confirmed and ready to announce.

It will be a very special evening raising money for two wonderful charities and I'm really looking forward to it."

– Joe McElderry, Ambassador for Teenage Cancer Trust

"We were so pleased to hear Joe was coming along to support us.

We didn't mention it to the kids in advance so they got a fantastic surprise on the day.

Like most community football teams we rely on fund-raising and contributions from parents to keep us going and our collection at St James' Park had been planned for months.

When we realised it was so close to Sir Bobby's birthday we all agreed we wanted to do something to help his charity too."

– Craig Newby, chairman of Winlaton Juniors