Shane Warne has donated AUD$340,000 (USD$258,500) to a paralyzed teenager just over a month after he officially shut down his charitable foundation following accusations of fund mismanagement.
The former cricketer was well known to players in the poker community thanks to his previous relationship with 888poker.
Using this connection with the game Warne would host regular charity poker tournaments featuring a mix of pros and celebrities in order to raise funds for The Shane Warne Foundation (TSWF).
However, following accusations of financial misconduct, TSWF ceased trading at the end of January. Although Warne asserted that there were no financial issues with the company, an official audit was ordered prompting the Australian to defend his foundation in a lengthy Facebook post.
“The Shane Warne Foundation and its distribution of funds, we confirm we have distributed $3.67M to date with an additional and final substantial check to be distributed on March 18, 2016. At that time, we hope to have distributed over $4M dollars,” wrote Warne.
With accounting firm KPMG still investing the foundation’s financial affairs, Warne has taken the opportunity to deflect some attention away from the situation by donating $340,000 (USD$258,500) to Will Murray.
The 14-year-old lost the use of his legs after jumping from a jetty and suffering a major spinal cord injury. Before the accident he was a skilled soccer player, but after having surgery to remove his C5 vertebrae the doctors have said his chances of ever walking again are slim.
With his care costs likely to hit $5 million (USD$3.8 million), Warne explained that helping Murray was in line with his foundation’s strategy of helping children in need.
“I am proud that Will and the Murray family are the beneficiaries of the last major donation to be made by TSWF,” explained Warne.
With TSWF now a shuttered entity and Warne no longer an ambassador for 888poker (he ended his relationship with the operator in January 2015), it’s unclear whether he’ll be as much of a fixture on the poker scene in the coming months.
Warne is famously friends with 2005 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem and currently has $93,571 in live tournament earnings to his name, including a 16th place finish in Event #8 at this year’s Aussie Millions.
Before that he finished 597th place in the 2015 WSOP Main Event for $17,282 which means we’ll probably see him return this summer for another shot at the $10,000 event.