Darren Gough is set to champion a new £75,000 grant dedicated to supporting rural English grassroots sports clubs.

The former England fast bowler and Strictly Come Dancing winner is backing the Gigaclear Rural Sports Club Fund.

The funding is targeted at helping local entities on its network flourish, focusing on the acquisition of much-needed sports equipment.

Mr Gough, now managing director of Cricket at Yorkshire, is signed as a fund ambassador.

He said: "Local clubs offer valuable opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy the many benefits that come with playing sport.

"It can have a positive impact on mental health and physical wellbeing and, who knows, it could also help nurture the aspirations of a future England player, whether that’s in football, rugby or cricket."

"It’s amazing just how much local clubs rely on parents and the wider community to stay afloat.

"This includes raising money to help pay for sports equipment, which can often be prohibitively expensive.

"I’m really excited to be getting behind this initiative."

Witney RFC chairman, Bob Fisk, said: “Having Darren Gough as ambassador for Gigaclear’s Rural Sports Club Fund is ideal because he’s not only a great sporting role model but also someone who progressed from his local rural sports club on to the world stage.

"Witney Rugby Club is already benefitting from the Rural Sports Club Fund through the provision of a scoreboard, training balls and a free wi-fi connection."

Gigaclear's head of marketing, Andrew Brotherton said: "We’re delighted to... have Darren Gough on board as an ambassador."