A WORLD Cup winner shared his story of playing rugby for England at a speaker event in Taunton.

Kyran Bracken, who also appeared on ITV's Dancing on Ice, gave more than 270 guests at the Taunton Round Table evening an insight into England's sudden death victory against Australia in Sydney in the 2003 final.

The evening at the town's Cooper Associates County Ground, sponsored by accountancy firm Milsted Langdon, was in aid of Somerset Counselling Centre.

Bracken, a scrum half who played for Bristol for a time, captivated the audience with an entertaining speech as he shared stories of his time on and off the pitch.

Taunton Round Tablers organised a hugely successful auction, including some excellent and unusual lots donated by local businesses and other organisations.

In total, more than £15,000 was raised for Somerset Counselling Centre and other local charities supported by Taunton Round Table.

Based in Tower Street, the counselling centre is a community resource that provides a safe space for people to talk to a skilled counsellor about any issue that is affecting their lives.

A spokesperson for Taunton Round Table said: “We are delighted to announce that £15,733 was raised at our charity speaker evening event this year.

"With special thanks to Milsted Langdon as our main sponsor.

“These vital funds will help support both Somerset Counselling Centre and Taunton Round Table Charitable Trust.”

Milsted Langdon has a long history of supporting charity events in Taunton and across the South West and is delighted to have helped the Round Table with its latest fundraiser.

Rob Chedzoy, tax partner at the company, which has offices in Deane Gate Avenue on the edge of the county town, said: “We are absolutely delighted to continue our long association with the Round Table Speaker Evening, now in our 10th year as main sponsors.

“Round Table does some excellent work locally, and it was great to work with their enthusiastic and experienced team, raising much-needed funds for an excellent local charity.

“It was a fantastic evening and we were delighted to see so many of our friends, colleagues and business contacts face to face after 18 months of restrictions.”