Fiery Fred’s outburst

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WHEN I was a lad of about 11 (1957) and getting interested in the great game, my mother and her friend would watch Yorkshire at Bramall Lane.

WHEN I was a lad of about 11 (1957) and getting interested in the great game, my mother and her friend would watch Yorkshire at Bramall Lane.

A child under 14 could get in on a member’s ticket...so after school, in uniform and cap, the Lane was my destination.

On one occasion (in those days Dickie Bird was playing) it was getting towards the end of Yorkshire’s innings when Freddie Trueman was out.

It was obvious that he’d be bowling before close of play and would have a warm-up in the nets beforehand and he had to pass behind the pavilion to get to the nets.

I reckoned I might be able to get his autograph if I was quick. Sure enough he went past me and as he did I said: “Excuse me, Mr Trueman...could I have your autograph please?” He then issued a few expletives which I had never heard before!

On returning to my seat on the top deck of the pavilion my mother asked it I got an autograph. “No Mum, but he spoke to me.”

I repeated, in all innocence, what he had said...much to the embarrassment of mother and her pal, who was Joan Barnsley née Atkin and whose father was the then Chaiman of Sheffield United (hence the tickets).

On the day in 1977 when Lord Boycott scored his hundreth hundred at Headingly against Australia, our firm was doing a spot of entertaining at the match and FST, along with Brian Johnston (Johnners), was sitting at the next table. As we left the marquee, on the bowling green, I asked Freddie if he would sign my menu.

“With pleasure,” he said. Turning to Johnners I said it was a tad different from the last time I asked and repeated my experience of 20 years earlier.

Johnners laughed loudly.

FST pleaded total innocence. He’s still a hero!

Jeremy Biggin

Give us store we deserve

I HAVE heard men sing the praises of lands across the sea,

Expressing all their yearning for the place they long to be.

I hear their acclamations, remaining unimpressed

Inviting them to Yorkshire, the county I love best.

The sculpture of her rugged coast caressed by oceans bold

Was fashioned by relentless tides, a wonder to behold.

Her moors are rich in splendour, a countenance so rare,

And with her haunting hills and dales no other can compare.

From sleepy little hamlets to the clamour of the town

A piece of Heaven captured is the county of renown.

Her face retains a beauty diminished not by age,

And legends of their triumphs embellish history’s page.

World-famous are her offspring in numerous brigades,

All offering their talents and excelling at their trades.

From every walk of life they come, ambitions to pursue

With honesty, integrity, pure Yorkshire through and through.

Surrounded by such blessings I could not ask for mere,

Seeking not a paradise upon some foreign shore.

I am proud to have been chosen to live my life on earth

With the bounds of Yorkshire, the county of my birth.

Kathleen Wray