Family tragedy inspires R&A Ambassador

R&A Working for Golf Ambassador Padraig Harrington is auctioning off millions of pounds of advertising space to help a family member left paralysed in a recent car crash.

Gerard Byrne, Harrington’s wife’s first cousin, has been told he will never walk again after his car hit black ice and skidded off the road in a single-car accident near his home in Monasterevin, Ireland, shortly before Christmas.

The 35-year-old painter and decorator will now need assistance for the rest of his life and has a wife and three children under three year-old to support.

To help secure his financial future, the three-time Major winner is looking to raise funds for him through the Padraig Harrington Foundation.

The R&A, along with the double Open winner’s other sponsors, was delighted to back Harrington’s idea to auction branding space on his clothing for the coming weeks, including during the Masters Tournament. All proceeds will go to the foundation and will help the Byrne family.

Harrington said: “Gerard will need a lot of assistance in his life - a wheelchair enabled car and renovations to his home, amongst other things - so I am looking to raise funds for him through the Padraig Harrington Charitable Foundation, which was established a few years ago to provide financial assistance to deserving beneficiaries throughout Ireland and the rest of the world.

“One avenue is to offer available branding space on my clothing and equipment during the Shell Houston Open, The Masters and the RBC Heritage tournaments in late March and early April, all of which will generate much publicity and exposure around the world.”