The Sir Bobby Robson Celebrity Golf Classic has been run annually for sixteen years at the request of Lady Elsie Robson and her family. The tournament started by Sir Bobby in 2004 was intended to be a fun celebrity golf tournament in the sun, but most importantly to raise money for the Refúgio Aboim Ascensão, a Homeless Children’s Charity based in Faro, chosen by Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie.
Since 2004, over 1 million Euros have been raised on behalf of Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie to help the charity continue the great work they do for homeless babies and children aged under six who have been abandoned, and in some cases abused.
Since Sir Bobby’s death in July 2009 the tournament has continued with Lady Elsie’s blessing and with two principal objectives. Firstly, to celebrate Bobby’s life both on and off the pitch, to remember what he brought to football both in the UK and in continental Europe, as one of the most successful British Managers in Europe. Secondly, because Sir Bobby would have wanted to keep raising valuable funds for the charity, helping those children so less fortunate than our own.
Celebrities from the world’s of football, sport and entertainment attend and play with the corporate teams for the honour of winning Bobby’s tournament, played on the Championship Course at Pestana Vila Sol on the Algarve, which has twice hosted the Portuguese Open. Celebrities who have played include Steve Bruce, Mick McCarthy, Alan Shearer, Kenny Dalglish, Alan Brazil, Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce to name just a few.
In 2016 a wonderful statue of Sir Bobby was commissioned and placed in a beautiful position, sitting on a bench overlooking the 18th green at Pestana Vila Sol. This was out of respect for the considerable efforts and sums raised for the Refúgio. A lasting legacy.
In June 2018 a room at the Pestana Vila Sol Golf Club was named after Sir Bobby. The Sir Bobby Robson Lounge is lovingly decorated with pictures and memorabilia from Sir Bobby’s career and there is a dedicated wall to the Refúgio. This is a must-see room on any visit to the Pestana Vila Sol Golf Club.
On June 20th 2019, The Mayor of the Municipality of Loule kindly paid tribute to Sir Bobby and unveiled a road (Rua) in Vila Sol to be named `Rua Sir Bobby Robson`.
Taken from the Mayor’s speech
“ Vila Sol village will have 29 new place names. The proposal fell on personalities with local, regional, national or international expression, mostly poets. There are two exceptions: Morgadinho Street, which maintains the memory of the place name by which it is known, and Sir Bobby Robson Street, which honours a personality and international expression who stood out in the areas of sport and benefactor, whose name remains in the memory of the Portuguese people and has a strong connection to the county of Loule, through the Golf Tournament at Vila Sol, run in aid of the Refugio.”