PCA President and legendary English batsman Graham Gooch has generously donated £30,000 to the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, all of which will be ring-fenced to go towards gambling and recreational drug awareness programmes.
The donation has officially been made by the Graham Gooch Scholarship, which was set up by Gooch 18 years ago, and which operates under the umbrella of the Essex Cricket Foundation at the county he played for from 1973 to 1997.
Gooch himself officially handed the cheque over to the Trust at the PCA’s Christmas in the Long Room event on Wednesday 4 December. The annual occasion sees the PCA’s loyal partners and supporters fundraise considerably for the Trust via a raffle, a silent auction and more.
One of the first things the money will go towards is the provision of gambling awareness programmes for all 18 first-class counties, which will be put on by Epic Risk Management and presented over the course of this winter. Patrick Foster, who is a previous beneficiary of the Trust, will be amongst those helping to educate current players during the coming months.
“We’re here in the Long Room for a great cause in the Professional Cricketers’ Trust which we’re all hoping to raise some good money for,” Gooch said.
“Today I’m making a donation towards gambling and drug awareness programmes which are two causes that I very much believe in and that the Professional Cricketers’ Trust support.
“I think these are especially important for young academy players around the country who are aspiring to be professional cricketers. They need to be made aware early about the dangers that are out there in life, especially as a professional sportsman. You need to get the right advice, the right education and taught the right skills when you’re young.
“I’m a believer in what the PCA and the Trust do, so I’m very happy to contribute my little bit to all the very worthy causes that they support.”
It is not the first time Gooch has made such a contribution to the players’ charity – the 66-year-old gave £50,000 just over three years ago to coincide with the Association’s 50th anniversary.
The keen hiker has also taken on a number of charity fundraising challenges in aid of the Trust, completing the Coast 2 Coast walk in 2018 and the Three Peaks Challenge as recently as October of this year.
“It was an honour to join the other 50 people on the Three Peaks Challenge – although I’m not sure I’ll be putting my name down on the list to have another go at that!
“It was hard, it was tough, but there was great camaraderie and spirit amongst the people that put in a lot of effort over the three days.
“I feel honoured to be able to make a very small contribution to what the Professional Cricketers’ Trust does.”
A Director of the Trust and PCA Director of Development and Welfare, Ian Thomas, said:
“Everyone at the Professional Cricketers’ Trust is extremely grateful to Graham for his generous gift and support today, just as we were when he donated to the charity to coincide with the PCA’s 50th anniversary three years ago.
“Today’s donation will be ring-fenced to go towards educational work for PCA members, beginning with gambling awareness workshops for all 18 first-class counties.
“We look forward to seeing the benefits that Graham’s generosity will bring to PCA members young and old in the near future.”
Find out more about the Professional Cricketers’ Trust by visiting our website.