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Morgan Freeman Donates to Player Fund

Tuesday Aug 11, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby Other International News

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Actor Morgan Freeman has pledged 100,000 South African Rand to a South African organization that helps rugby players whose careers are ended by injury.

Freeman, who will play Nelson Mandela in Invictus, an upcoming movie about the Springboks’ 1995 Rugby World Cup triumph, made his donation in a telephone conversation with the current national team captain John Smit last week.

Freeman’s donation was 10 percent of the R1 million raised at the 13th annual Bell’s Night of the Stars extravaganza and telethon, at the International Conference Centre, Durban.

At that event the Springbok rugby team attended and donated R50,000.

Smit said he was glad his squad could contribute to the cause.

The organizers of the Chris Burger/Petro Jackson Fund welcomed Freeman’s donation.

The fund was started by the SA Rugby Union after Burger broke his neck and died while playing for Western Province in the Currie Cup final in 1980.

His Western Province captain, Morne du Plessis, now the fund’s chairman, was among those involved in setting up the fund that year.

Club rugby player Jackson, from Kylemore in Stellenbosch, was paralyzed in a match in 1989.

The fund’s manager, Gail Ross, said: “[Freeman] had expressed interest in donating [to the fund] when he was in the country, so we gave him a number and a time when he could call in to make the donation live.”


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