The world's most famous cricket umpire yesterday launched the Dickie Bird Foundation to help poor children participate in sport.
Haydn Farrar, the foundation's secretary, said: "Dickie was born into a miner's family and his father backed him all the way, so he is adopting that philosophy to help others."
The charity will accept grant applications from between £500 to £5,000, to be heard at the trustees' October meeting.
Grants will be made for sports kit, coaching and training expenses.
"Dickie is anxious to help any young person who cannot play a sport without help," said Farrar.
Cricket memorabilia auctions at 12 dinners from September are expected to raise up to £500,000.
Celebrity patrons include Sir Tim Rice and Michael Parkinson.