Widnes Vikings have unveiled a special edition black and white playing jersey that will be worn by the team at the First Utility Super League Magic Weekend at St James’ Park on May 30th 2015.
The jersey features the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation logo and 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the shirt will go to the charity, which is named after the iconic former Newcastle and England manager.
Newcastle United football legend Peter Beardsley, who is also heralded for his sporting genius on the pitches at Everton and Liverpool, close to Widnes Vikings’ home ground, unveiled the Vikings’ Magic Weekend shirt with Vikings players Willie Isa, Phil Joseph and Danny Craven.
Newcastle is a city synonymous with black and white club colours, the same colours the Vikings wear with pride. Ahead of the fixture at St James’ Park it seemed fitting therefore to flip the traditional Vikings’ hoops to stripes, to acknowledge the Magic Weekend hosts and the ‘black and white passion’ in Newcastle.
It is the Vikings’ intention that the shirt will help to raise awareness of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation’s fantastic work to find effective ways to detect and treat cancer. The charity 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, Widnes Vikings’ principle sponsor, kindly agreed to vacate the front of the commemorative shirt to create space for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation logo.
Dave Hughes, Chief Executive of The Parcel Centre added: “When we heard about the Vikings’ idea for the Magic Weekend we were more than happy for The Parcel Logo to be changed for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation one. We have had some great exposure since our logo has featured on the front of the Vikings shirt. It is fantastic that our sponsorship space is being used to generate awareness of the great work done by the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in the build up to the game in Newcastle. We hope the Vikings shirt has a hugely positive impact on the charity.”
The Vikings kit supplier, O’Neills Irish Sportswear, has reduced the wholesale cost of the limited edition shirts by an additional £5 per garment to ensure that the charity can benefit as much as possible from this initiative.
Liz Luff, from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, commented: “We’re thrilled that Widnes Vikings have chosen to support the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation with their special shirt.
Sir Bobby was a fan of many sports and I’ve no doubts he would have been interested in seeing rugby league being played at St James’ Park.
We’re very grateful to Widnes Vikings for donating all proceeds from sales of the new jersey to help us continue our work. The black and white shirt looks great and we hope it’s very popular.”
Newcastle legend Beardsley has also agreed to be an official Widnes Vikings Ambassador in the lead up to the First Utility Super League Magic Weekend in May 2015.
Beardsley commented on today’s shirt launch initiative: “The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is a charity which is close to the hearts of everyone in Newcastle so it’s great to see Widnes Vikings offering their support ahead of the Magic Weekend at St. James’ Park.
“I’m sure Widnes’ black and white shirts will be very popular with Newcastle fans and we look forward to welcoming the club and all of Super League to the city in May.”