England footballing legend David Beckham and current Irish golfer Rory McIlroy are among the sportspersons named in Sunday Times' Top 10 most generous celebrities list. Singer Elton John topped the list, donating an astonishing £26.8m ($37.8m) to charities in the past year.

Beckham, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star, is in third place in the list, having raised £5m through The Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust that he runs with his wife, and also via his role as an ambassador for Unicef.

Irish golfer Rory McIlroy, who gave away £1m of his wealth, is number eight on the list. His donations worth £780,000 went to his personal foundation while he gave £250,000 to Mencap. The golfer started The Rory Foundation with the aim of bettering the lives of vulnerable children. He has also helped set up a short break centre in Newcastle for children with cancer.

Another golfer to make the list was former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie whose foundation in memory of his mother raised £4.5m for cancer care centres. The list was sponsored by the Charities Aid Foundation that helped people give to charities in 2015.

"Young people are the future of giving and the celebrities many people look up to can play a massive role in setting an example and showing how rewarding it is to give", John Low, chief executive of CAF, said, as quoted by the Herald Scotland.

"Those on the rich list who give to good causes provide much more than financial support. When stars from Coldplay and One Direction to Rory McIlroy and David Beckham give to charity, they send out an important message about the positive impact we can all have by supporting causes we care about", he added further.

More than £2.57bn has been donated in the last year alone with 32 billionaires listed among this year's top 200 donors.

The top 10 list of most generous celebrities are:

1) Elton John (£26.8m)

2) JK Rowling (£10.3m)

3) David Beckham (£5.0m)

4) Martin Lewis (£2.5m)

5) Coldplay (£1.7m)

6) Ringo Starr (£1.6m)

7) Jamie Oliver (£1.4m)

8) Rory McIlroy (£1.0m)

9) Colin Montgomerie (£0.9m)

10) One Direction (£0.8m)