HUNDREDS of people attended the funeral of a devoted wife and mother described as a woman of 'beauty, intelligence, integrity and, above all, grace'.

Sue Robb died on July 7, the day before what would have been her 50th birthday, after coping with cancer for more than 15 years.

Her funeral was held at St Cuthbert's Church, in Darlington, on Wednesday (July 16).

Leading the mourners was her husband Graham, founder of public relations company Recognition, and their daughters Helen and Jessica.

Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne, the Darlington-based entrepreneur and a friend of the family, was among the pall-bearers.

The eulogy was delivered by Tory peer Lord Bates, another family friend, who recalled Mrs Robb's 'unshakeable belief that there wasn't a problem in the world which couldn't be solved by cake'.

Referring to Mrs Robb's successful career in healthcare, Lord Bates said: "Throughout her career, in whatever role, she always sought to achieve the best possible service for older patients, whom she would remark were often the least able or willing to demand it for themselves.

"This passionate belief in high professional standards was instilled in her colleagues too and so many whom Sue mentored or managed over the years have been in contact, paying tribute to the way she supported and encouraged them and to her professional example and inspiration."

Mrs Robb had been due to hold a fundraising birthday party in aid of the charity Target Ovarian Cancer.

It was cancelled because her condition had worsened, but nevertheless donations of more than £3,400 have been made by friends, family and well-wishers.

Lord Bates described Mr and Mrs Robb as a 'real love story for modern times'.

*The Northern Echo attended Mrs Robb's funeral with her family's permission.