RUGBY World Cup winner Neil Back spoke at a sports dinner which raised £4,500.
The money, raised by the Rotary Club of Colchester Trinity, will be used to help pay for a refreshment point for the new radiotherapy unit at Colchester General Hospital, in Turner Road.
Some of the money will also go to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, in London.
Neil Back MBE played in England’s only Rugby World Cup triumph, in Australia, in 2003.
He was also a British and Irish Lion in the team’s groundbreaking series win in South Africa in 1997.
More than 160 guests packed into the Stoke-by-Nayland Spa Hotel on Friday.
Club member Terry Youngs said: “It was a great night and we’re very pleased to have raised so much money.”
The rotary club has now raised more than £77,000.