Sir Bobby 80

Sir Bobby celebrates his 80th birthday

Find A Better Way founder Sir Bobby Charlton invited friends and supporters to a special reception in London on Monday night, two days before celebrating his 80th birthday on 11 October.

The event took place at the Old Truman Brewery at a very special exhibition of paintings by Syrian refugee children receiving art therapy at the Sir Bobby Charlton Centre in Jordan. Entitled Dark to Light, the paintings show a progression of subjects and colours as the artists come to grips with past trauma: from depictions of the tragic events of their life painted in dark, sombre colours to more hopeful themes such as friendship and the future, painted in bright, cheerful hues.

Over a hundred guests attended and were treated to a film about the paintings by filmmaker Troy Word, songs by the musician and ‘oud player Aliya Cycon, and a moving speech by Find A Better Way ambassador Giles Duley. As the Dark to Light exhibition was on display as part of Giles’ larger Legacy of War photo-exhibition, guests were also able to take in his amazing work as well.

Some guests Find A Better Way were particularly pleased to welcome on the night were actor Brendan Coyle and his friend, filmmaker Joy Harrison (pictured with Sir Bobby and Lady Charlton). Brendan, known especially for his role as John Bates on the period drama Downton Abbey, is a relation of Sir Bobby’s first manager at Manchester United, Sir Matt Busby. Brendan and Joy were keen to wish Sir Bobby a happy birthday in person and learn more about Find A Better Way and the Sir Bobby Charlton Centre in Amman.

The event was covered by ITV News at Ten, who broadcast a two-minute spot the following night. Canada’s main commercial broadcaster, CTV, aired a piece about the exhibition on their evening news as well, which can be seen here.