Explore Timeline

2015

September 2015

  1. Beacon of Light illuminated at night

    Beacon Green Light

    “It’s been  a great week for the Foundation of Light as the BEACON OF LIGHT passed an important milestone when it secured full planning approval from Sunderland City Council.   “The Beacon will be a…

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    “It’s been  a great week for the Foundation of Light as the BEACON OF LIGHT passed an important milestone when it secured full planning approval from Sunderland City Council.

     

    “The Beacon will be a game-changer for the Foundation and catalyst for so much that we want to achieve in the next decade. The charity already works with more than 40,000 people every year, and the Beacon will significantly expand our work and the number of lives we can touch.

    “I have always been a passionate advocate of the power of education to change lives and the power of football to inspire and motivate people. The Beacon will epitomise this vision and fuse together sport, education, the world of work and health and well-being like no other place in the UK.

    The Beacon received more good news when the Home and Communities Agency (HCA) also confirmed the land transaction has been approved in principle with heads of terms being exchanged. The HCA has worked closely with the Foundation over the last year to bring about the land deal for the unique development.

    “We are immensely grateful to the Home and Communities Agency for their visionary approach and support for the Beacon of Light development. The landmark development will make a real difference to the lives of thousands of people and the Home and Communities Agency demonstrated a real enthusiasm and keenness to invest in the city from the outset. I would like to thank them for going the extra mile and showing great commitment to the project. Like us, they want to see the Beacon of Light become a reality.

    Contractors for the new development have now been shortlisted and tender documents issued. It is envisaged that work on the Beacon will start in spring 2016,

    The £16.5m striking cube-shaped development, designed by leading architecture practice FaulknerBrowns, will be the first building of its kind in the UK and house education and training facilities with an indoor football pitch above.

    “The Beacon will give us an important platform to expand our pioneering programmes and to extend our work into exciting new areas. We are thrilled that our vision is one step closer. The Beacon is attracting a lot of attention and we’re delighted so many individuals and organisations are keen to get involved,” added Lesley Spuhler, CEO of the Foundation.

    The award winning Foundation of Light was established in 2001 and uses the power of football to educate, inspire and motivate. One of the largest and leading sports charities in the UK, it has an excellent track record of working with children, young people and their families.

     

    Perspective Section Sports Hall

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2014

December 2014

  1. Leeds Beckett celebrate Staff awards

    Achievements celebrated at Leeds Beckett awards

    Sir Bob Murray  was guest of honour at the annual Achieving Excellence Awards at Leeds Beckett University, which recognise the contributions of staff across the university. Former Chair of the Board of Governors at Leeds…

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    Leeds Beckett University staff awards celebrations

    Sir Bob Murray  was guest of honour at the annual Achieving Excellence Awards at Leeds Beckett University, which recognise the contributions of staff across the university.

    Former Chair of the Board of Governors at Leeds Beckett, Lord Woolmer of Leeds, was also awarded an honorary Doctor of the University as part of the event, which was attended by Vice Chancellor Professor Susan Price, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Mace Bearer, Professor Paul Smith, and the university’s new Chair of the Board of Governors, David Lowen. The  ceremony was compered by Honorary Graduate and TV personality, Harry Gration.

    Speaking at  the event Sir Bob said: “I was delighted to be able to attend the Achieving Excellence Awards and join with colleagues to celebrate the considerable achievements of staff from across the institution.  It was also a great privilege to confer the honour of Doctor of the University on former Chair of the Board Lord Woolmer.”

    The ten awards categories ranged from Excellence in Customer Service Delivery and Team Colleague of the Year to Course Leader of the Year and Inspiring Teacher of the Year. This year also saw the introduction of a new category for Bright Idea of the Year. Now in their sixth year, the awards encourage staff and students to nominate colleagues for the contribution they make to the university every day, however big or small and 437 nominations were received this year.

    Prior to the awards being announced, former Council Leader, MP and Director of Leeds United, Lord Woolmer was awarded an honorary degree.

    Lord Woolmer was conferred with the award of Doctor of the University by Sir Bob who is Leeds Beckett Chancellor,  for his significant service to the city of Leeds and the region. He  has long-held connections with Leeds and has served the city in a civic capacity for more than 40 years. He has been a member of the House of Lords since 1999 and is currently a member of the Select Committee on European Economic and International Trade Policies. Lord Woolmer said: “It is an enormous privilege and a great honour to be awarded the first honorary degree from Leeds Beckett University and I’m truly delighted. I would remind Leeds Beckett’s current students that they are very able people with enormous potential and that they need to seize that potential because life is so full of opportunities.”

     

    For more information visit  www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk

     

     

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November 2014

  1. Student success at Derwentside College

    21 student superstars were shining brightly as they celebrated at Derwentside College’s Annual Achievement Awards ceremony in November.  The evening was attended by over 250 guests from across the region, with 21 students receiving special…

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    21 student superstars were shining brightly as they celebrated at Derwentside College’s Annual Achievement Awards ceremony in November.  The evening was attended by over 250 guests from across the region, with 21 students receiving special awards for academic excellence and personal endeavour.  Two of these awards were sponsored by Sir Bob Murray, both for Personal Achievement- Louise Bowman (Employability Skills) and Kerrieanne Derbyshire (Prince’s Trust).

    Sir Bob commented: “I am very proud to be associated with Derwentside College in my home-town of Consett and delighted to sponsor the special  awards for outstanding personal achievement. I would like to congratulate Louise and Kerrieanne on their awards and wish them every success in the future.”

    Guest presenters at the ceremony were Gary Philipson and Lisa Shaw from Heart Radio North East, whilst Andrew Hodgson, CEO of Wallsend based SMD and Vice Chair of the North East LEP was the College’s Guest of Honour.

    The evening culminated with the announcement of Student of the Year which was presented to Mark Stewart, an Advanced Apprentice at Pinnacle Re-Tec, based in Consett, for his outstanding achievements demonstrated throughout his studies. Mark said, “I was thrilled to have been nominated for an award, but to win Student of the Year was absolutely fantastic.  The proudest moment was knowing that my family, my employer and my assessor were there to see this.”

    Principal and Chief Executive, Karen Redhead said, “Our Awards evening is about celebrating success, the success of individuals in achieving their goals by progressing to further and higher education, by securing employment and the success of the college working with employers to raise skill levels and improve quality.”

    “Success rates on our classroom-based courses are very high, placing us again in the top 10 percent of all colleges in the country for the majority of our programmes and we have maintained this strong position for the last four years.  In the last 12 months alone we have delivered learning aims to 10,759 students, we had 5,234 apprentices in 20 different occupational areas of learning and we worked with 1,159 employers.”

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  1. Using the power of football to inspire, educate and motivate.

    Thousands raised for Foundation

      Sir Bob hosted an exclusive gourmet dinner at the Stadium of Light which raised more than £25,000 for the Foundation of Light in November. Established in 2001 by Sir Bob, the Foundation of Light…

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    Using the power of football to inspire, educate and motivate.

    Sir Bob hosted an exclusive gourmet dinner at the Stadium of Light which raised more than £25,000 for the Foundation of Light in November.

    Established in 2001 by Sir Bob, the Foundation of Light is the registered charity of Sunderland AFC and uses the power of football to educate, inspire and motivate young people and their families. It is the largest football charity in the UK.

    Key supporters and trustees were welcomed to the Stadium of Light by Sir Bob for the fundraising event. Guests from the world of sport and entertainment included journalist Kate Adie OBE, architect and television presenter George Clarke, cricketer Paul Collingwood MBE, award-winning lyricist Sir Tim Rice as well as Olympian and television presenter Steve Cram MBE.

    Sir Bob said: “It’s always a pleasure to return to the Stadium of Light and this event was no exception. It was a special evening and also that raised a lot of money to support the Foundation’s life-changing work in the North East.

    “The evening was a tremendous success and I am extremely grateful to all of our supporters and Trustees for their continued support of the Foundation, a charity which is leading the way in its field and making a huge difference to the region.”

    Prizes on the night included VIP tickets to The Lion King in London’s West End, lunch at the House of Lords, a framed football shirt signed by Brazil legend Pele and a behind –the-scenes tour of St George’s Park, the FA’s National Football Centre.

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  1. 10 About - CoW at event

    Countess of Wessex supports Beacon of Light

    Sir Bob hosted a special event in Sunderland to raise awareness of the Beacon of Light project and HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO attended as guest of honour. The Beacon of Light will be…

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    Sir Bob hosted a special event in Sunderland to raise awareness of the Beacon of Light project and HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO attended as guest of honour. The Beacon of Light will be a vibrant and exciting education and sports facility and the first of its kind in the UK. It will use the power of football to inspire people and change lives. It will help people gain skills and qualifications and work with families to energise communities.

    The unique centre will become the home of the Foundation of Light in 2017 and include engaging and interactive zones in education; health and fitness; sport and play; and the world of work and will welcome thousands of children, young people and adults through its doors every week.

    The project, which is being led by Sir Bob, will help the Foundation to expand its reach and work with local people in a greater variety of ways to address the health and well-being, education and employment agendas.

    Foundation supporters and Trustees joined The Countess of Wessex on the visit including journalist Kate Adie OBE, architect and TV Restoration Man George Clarke, Olympian and sports broadcaster Steve Cram and Sir Tim Rice.

    Sir Bob said: “The Countess of Wessex has been a fantastic supporter of the Foundation over the years and we were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness to an event focused on the iconic Beacon of Light project.

    “Ten years ago this month The Countess of Wessex opened the Centre of Light, a collection of classrooms and offices at the Stadium of Light that have had a huge impact on thousands of children, families and adults.

    “A decade later and we are discussing a new development that will greatly enhance the reach and impact of the Foundation’s work in the region, the natural progression of the work started at Her Royal Highness’ last visit here.”

    For further information about the beacon of light visit http://www.safc.com/foundation-of-light/beacon-of-light

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September 2014

  1. 'Superkev' has signed for Sunderland once again.

    Superkev re-signs for Sunderland

    SAFC’s leading post-war goal scorer, ‘Superkev’ has agreed to become an ambassador for the club’s charity, the Foundation of Light. Sir Bob, who founded the Foundation when he was Chairman of SAFC in 2001, said…

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    ‘Superkev’ has signed for Sunderland once again.

    SAFC’s leading post-war goal scorer, ‘Superkev’ has agreed to become an ambassador for the club’s charity, the Foundation of Light.

    Sir Bob, who founded the Foundation when he was Chairman of SAFC in 2001, said he was thrilled the former fans’ favourite had agreed to join the charity: “Among Sunderland fans Kevin has legendary status. He played a major role in what was one of the club’s most exciting periods, and his goals and talent cemented a place in the club’s folklore.

    “I’ve remained close to Kevin since his days at the club and was sure he’d be interested in helping the Foundation. He’s always been a top man as well as a top player and he was genuinely interested in the invaluable work the Foundation does with families in the region.

    “It was only fair to him to wait until he’d retired as a player to ask him to join us, but I had no hesitation in doing so once he joined the coaching staff at his current club, Leicester.”

    “He is one of the club’s most famous sons and his involvement will make a real difference, heightening awareness and interest in the work we do.”

    Kevin said he was honoured to be asked to become an ambassador for the Foundation: “Sunderland will always hold a special place in my heart. I loved my time on Wearside and have really fond memories of the city and the club.

    “It’s great to be able to give something back to the community after all the support it gave me – and it’s also very hard to say no to Sir Bob.

    “He’s really passionate about the Foundation and has told me just how important the work is that it does. I look forward to helping take the Foundation forward and to promoting the fantastic work it does in the north east.”

    The Foundation works with more than 42,000 adults and children across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham annually. Its mission is to use the power of football to help young people and their families realise their full potential.

    The Foundation’s base is currently within the Stadium of Light, but proposals for a new home, the Beacon of Light, were recently approved by Sunderland Council.

    The Beacon will be an exciting and inspiring education, training and sports facility located next to both the Sunderland Aquatic Centre and the Stadium of Light.

    The unique centre will be the first of its kind in the UK and include engaging and interactive zones in education; health and fitness; sport and play; and the world of work and will welcome thousands of children, young people and adults through its doors every week.

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  1. Picture by Vicky Matthers iconphotomedia

    Proud to be Chancellor of Leeds Beckett

      I am proud to be the Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, which changes its name from Leeds Metropolitan University today. Congratulations to all at the University who have made this important milestone possible. I…

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    I am proud to be the Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, which changes its name from Leeds Metropolitan University today.

    Congratulations to all at the University who have made this important milestone possible. I know that a lot of work from many colleagues has gone into making this step forward.

    The university has changed its name in order to be more distinctive and has also launched its new strapline; Leeds Beckett University: Opening Minds, Opening Doors.

    In business, and when leading any large organisation, those who lead it need to make big decisions. It’s so important to be bold in the decisions you take and stick to what you believe in. I know this myself from personal experience when Sunderland AFC moved from Roker Park to the Stadium of Light. The fans were not always 100% behind the changes but very quickly after the move the majority realised it was the right decision for the club in the long term.

    There may still be people who aren’t fully signed up to Leeds Beckett yet, but I’m sure in time they will be, when they realise what a positive and important strategic step it is for the university.

    Many congratulations to Leeds Beckett University on this exciting day – I look forward to many more years as Chancellor of this great institution.

    Read more here: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/debate/columnists/bob-murray-proud-to-lead-university-into-new-era-1-6853614

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April 2014

  1. Chester-le-Street annual dinner

    Sir Bob enjoyed a wonderful evening at the annual sporting dinner held by the Chester-le-Street branch of the Sunderland Supporters’ Association. The dinner was organised by fans and attended by many red-and-white supporters as well…

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    Sir Bob enjoyed a wonderful evening at the annual sporting dinner held by the Chester-le-Street branch of the Sunderland Supporters’ Association.

    The dinner was organised by fans and attended by many red-and-white supporters as well as representatives from the club.

    Sir Bob said: “I had a fantastic evening and it was great to catch up with so many people, including former Sunderland manager Denis Smith.

    “The atmosphere was great and we were all chatting about the match at Manchester City from the previous night. Many of us were all still reeling from their late goal which cost us the game!”

    Click below to read Sunderland Echo Sport Writer Graeme Anderson’s review of the evening.

    Chester le Street Dinner

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March 2014

  1. Sir Bob at Wembley before the Capital One Cup Final

    Sir Bob’s Cup Final Review

        “It was fantastic to be a Sunderland supporter at Wembley. I felt really proud of the team and how they played and of the fans. The atmosphere was electric and you could see…

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    Sir Bob at Wembley before the Capital One Cup Final

     

    “It was fantastic to be a Sunderland supporter at Wembley. I felt really proud of the team and how they played and of the fans. The atmosphere was electric and you could see what it meant to every SAFC fan to be there. Everyone around me said they’d never heard a roar like it when Sunderland scored.

    “ I thought Gus got it right too in terms of selection, subs and tactics. It was a big occasion and he and the team did us all proud.

    “I’ve always really loved Manchester City as a club. They are a big community club like Sunderland and the fans have backed their club in good and bad times, despite living in the shadow of Manchester United for many years.

    “They know what it’s like to have ups and downs and not so long ago had to endure lower divisions. But, I don’t think we were beaten by that Manchester City on Sunday, the thing that separated us was money.

    “I really hope all the players and the fans can take all the pride and positives from the game and it lifts everyone for the rest of the season.”

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February 2014

  1. Sir Bob’s Cup Final Countdown

      Sir Bob chatted to The Journal’s sports writer Stuart Rayner about the highs and lows of being a Sunderland supporter and reflected on Sunderland’s history at Wembley. Click the links below to read the…

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    Sir Bob at Wembley

    Sir Bob chatted to The Journal’s sports writer Stuart Rayner about the highs and lows of being a Sunderland supporter and reflected on Sunderland’s history at Wembley.

    Click the links below to read the article.

    The Ballad of the Black Cats and Wembley finals 1

    The Ballad of the Black Cats and Wembley finals 2

     

     

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