REGIONAL charities are to benefit from more than £40,000 as the fundraising total from one of Yorkshire’s largest business lunches is revealed.

More than 600 business people attended the 13th annual York Sportsman’s Lunch, held at York Racecourse last month.

The event was headlined by recently retired Irish rugby union player Paul O’Connell and former Bath and England player David Flatman.

Guests of honour from the Yorkshire Regiment enjoyed a VIP table at the event, which raises money for a range of local and sporting causes.

Organisers Mark Pepper and Nick Elliott of Sporting Connexions have confirmed that with new sponsorship from York property specialist Croft Residential, and ticket sales and donations on the day the lunch has raised more than £40,000. First held in 2005, the charity lunch has raised more than £700,000 to date.

Mr Pepper said: “The event was again a great way for the business community to network and raise funds for some really worthy local causes.”