Former England cricketer Monty Panesar has joined an Oxford charity just days after making a swift exit from politics.

In April 2024, the ex-sportsman announced his intention to stand for election as the next MP for Ealing Southall in the next UK General Election.

This would have been as a candidate from the Workers Party of Britain, led by George Galloway but Panesar quit just seven days later after stating that he needed more time to “find his political feet”.

Now the former England international cricketer has joined Oxfordshire mental health charity Restore as a patron.

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Oxford Mail: The politics career was short-lived.The politics career was short-lived.

The charity is based on Manzil Way off Cowley Road in Oxford and was founded in 1977, working to support individuals to take control of their own mental health recovery.

“I hope that my involvement with Restore, as a fantastic mental health charity, can help to destigmatise conversations surrounding mental well-being,” said Panesar.

“It may inspire an increasingly broad and diverse range of people to feel empowered to open up about mental health. I’d like to be a part of supporting a culture of understanding and acceptance.”

Born in Luton in 1982, Panesar was renowned for his exceptional spin bowling skills during his sporting career having risen to prominence through his performances for Northamptonshire.

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Oxford Mail: The player won The Ashes in 2009.The player won The Ashes in 2009. (Image: PA IMAGES)

He made his debut for the England national team in 2006 and playing a key role in the team that won The Ashes in 2009.

Throughout his career, he has been a passionate advocate for mental health awareness, sharing his personal experiences to inspire others.

Libby Peppiatt, Restore CEO, said: "Monty’s support so far has been fantastic, along with his eagerness to advocate opening up about mental health, and promoting inclusivity and diversity.

“We hope that with Monty's support, we can reach even more people in communities across Oxfordshire, creating a supportive environment for all by opening up conversations about mental health."

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Oxford Mail: The player has joined the charity.The player has joined the charity. (Image: Anthony Devlin/PA)

A spokesperson for Restore added: “Monty will lend his support to Restore's mission of supporting recovery, promoting mental health awareness and eradicating the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

“Monty brings with him a wealth of experience and a genuine interest for fostering an inclusive dialogue around mental health.

“Monty Panesar's association with Restore marks the beginning of an exciting and burgeoning relationship with the charity.

“His commitment to mental health advocacy has been evident this year through his recent participation in fundraising endeavours such as the Dorchester Festival auction in aid of Restore, where he generously donated signed merchandise.

As patron, Panesar will play a role in supporting Restore's fundraising initiatives, community engagement, and advocacy efforts, all supporting better mental health.

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