Our Patrons – Graham Gooch OBE DL, Michael J Fitch and Tammy Beaumont MBE
Graham Gooch OBE DL
“I am delighted to have been asked to support the work of The Rob George Foundation as its patron.
“I have known Rob’s father, Philip, for many years. We played together in a number of Young Essex, Essex Under 25 and Essex Second Xl games at the start of my career. Philip regularly reminds me that in one season his Essex Second Xl batting average was superior to mine, but after that our cricket careers tended to go in different directions! More recently, we have met again through our work with charity and community organisations.
“Rob died in December 2013. Although only 21, he battled leukaemia with bravery and dignity. I suspect many of us in the same situation would have had little emotional capacity to think of others, but Rob was determined to leave a legacy. His first concerns were, naturally enough, for his family, but he also wanted to help to alleviate the kind of financial difficulties he had encountered.
“The Rob George Foundation has two aims – as well as helping young people who are facing financial difficulties as they battle life-threatening or terminal illnesses, it also seeks to provide financial support to gifted youngsters in the worlds of sport or the performing arts but who are held back by their financial situation. Rob was a talented cricketer and a golfer; his family are involved in sport and the arts, so these priorities make perfect sense.
“The support that the Rob George Foundation has already received has been heart-warming and effective, especially when you consider that the Foundation was only established in January 2014. I am delighted to lend my support. Long may it make a real difference to young lives.”
Michael J Fitch
“I was truly honoured to accept the invitation to become a Patron of the Rob George Foundation. From the RGF’s very conception I have whole-heartedly supported the Foundation’s work, especially enjoying contributing to the annual celebrations when it’s ‘Ball’ time.
I started magic at the age of 4 and have never looked back. I have made many television appearances and produced many of my own sell-out theatre shows. I enjoy entertaining the whole family with my personal mix of comedy and magic. It was whilst producing my first full stage show that Lorraine George and I originally met. It was also the first time I met Rob.”
Lorraine recalls, “Rob would have been about 14 years old and during rehearsals Michael needed to run one of his tricks, you all know the one, where two strangers are padlocked together…….. well, on this occasion it was Michael’s heavily pregnant wife (and very good sport) Helen, and our Rob. Things didn’t really go according to plan and the key got lost. After much discomfort on Helen’s part and embarrassment on Rob’s, they had to be cut free – the trick has never gone wrong before or since, but it makes for a good story now.”
“I was voted “UK Children’s Entertainer of the Year” in 2007, followed in 2009 by “International Children’s Entertainer of the Year”. An absolute highlight of my career was undoubtedly being invited to Buckingham Palace where I performed for Her Majesty The Queen.
Of course I can relate to the RGF’s Aim 1 applicants – all so young and needing support as they face the fight for their lives – but as a successful performer I can completely relate to the struggles of young performers (and budding sportsmen and sportswomen) needing support to fulfill their potential. I look forward to many years of being a part of the journey of The Rob George Foundation.”
Tammy Beaumont MBE
Tammy told us: “It is a real honour and privilege for me to take on the role as one of the Patrons of the Rob George Foundation. I knew Rob well at Loughborough University, and it is great to see his legacy live on through the work of the foundation. Rob’s priority was always to help and support others, and the foundation ensures that his care and compassion is experienced by an ever-increasing number of young people in need. The foundation supports both talented and terminally ill young people, handling all their very diverse needs with respect and care. As a professional sportswoman, I am a firm believer that all young people should have the opportunity to explore and develop their individual talents so as to achieve their full potential in the worlds of sport and the performing arts. This is not always possible for everybody without the support of an organisation like the Rob George Foundation. The foundation also works with terminally ill young people, providing them with support and care at the most difficult time. I am passionate in my support for the foundation – to ensure that their fantastic work continues, and to celebrate Rob and the values which the foundation represents every day.
Rob and I were contemporaries at Loughborough University. We served on the University Cricket Club committee together and it is great to see that his spirit lives on in the really important work that the Rob George Foundation does. Rob always wanted to support others first, which is exactly what the foundation seeks to do. For me, I support the foundation to ensure Rob’s legacy lives on and through what Rob and his family went through they can support other families going through similar difficult circumstances.”Rob’s dad and Chairman of the RGF, Philip George, commented: “We are very excited to welcome Tammy as our third patron. Cricket and Loughborough University were two things massively close to Rob’s heart. She was a peer and good mate of Rob’s and with so many of our aim 2 grantees aspiring to reach the levels that Tammy has in their chosen sport, the fit could not be more perfect.”Tammy has already achieved great success and recognition in the world of women’s cricket. In winning the World Cup in 2017 with England, Tammy, scored 410 runs, including 147 against South Africa which contributed towards Tammy being named ICC Player of the tournament. The following year Tammy was awarded an MBE for services to cricket.In 2019, on the back of scoring 3 consecutive centuries against South Africa in the summer of 2018, Tammy was named one of Wisden Cricketers of the year, alongside the likes of Virat Kohli & Jos Butler, only the 6th woman to receive the honour.
To date Tammy has scored 7 ODI centuries & 1 T20I century. Her T20I century is the fastest by an English Woman in only 48 balls.
We are thrilled about Tammy joining us to add her support in helping the RGF raise its profile across the UK.