A FOOTBALL legend returned to his home town to support a charity close to his heart.

Former striker Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson, adored by North-East football fans for his time spent with Newcastle United and Sunderland, was on hand to officially cut the ribbon to declare the new Tynedale Hospice at Home charity shop open on Prudhoe’s Front Street.

Robson, who was raised in the town and grew up playing his football there, has first hand experience of the hospice having used its transport services, which helps people get to hospital appointments.

Now of Hexham, the former footballer, who also played for West Ham United and Carlisle United, said: “It’s a great charity to get involved in and we have donated stuff before, and help out where we can.

“It’s a very worthy cause and we will continue to donate because we have had the use of the volunteer drivers to the hospital and that service makes a big difference to people as it takes the stresses away when you have to hang around in hospitals.

“I am really happy the hospice has opened a shop in Prudhoe and I think it will get a lot of support as it does in Hexham.

“Prudhoe is where I grew up, started playing football and I went to the high school, so I have a lot of friends and family there, and there was a good crowd there and the shop did well on its first day.”

The new shop in Prudhoe, opened last Thursday, will boost the hospice’s profile across the district.

The charity already has a shop, plus a separate book shop, on Battle Hill in Hexham and one on Merton Way, in Ponteland.

Mike Thornicroft, chief executive of Tynedale Hospice at Home, said: “I would like to thank the community of Prudhoe for their warm welcome to Tynedale Hospice at Home’s presence on the high street.

“As a local supporter and well-known to the Prudhoe community, it was a pleasure to have Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson officially open the shop and make the day extra special.”