Dickie’s book shows he’s got a way with words

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AND while we’re talking cricket, here’s one South Yorkshire legend set to release his own book of wisdom (not Wisden) next month.

The musings of umpire Dickie Bird – best known for his incisive decisions, quick wit and once getting annoyed about a burst pipe – have been collected in a little book of his quotes.

The 78-year-old, of Staincross, Barnsley, shares his thoughts on everything from religion (“if you saw the view from my garden, you’d realise why I believe in the deity”) to modern footballers (“more training, less clubbing and keep their personal equipment in their shorts”).

He addresses philosophy – “the saddest words you’ll ever hear anyone say are ‘if only’” – and, of course, speaks of his love for cricket.

“My mates and I used to play for hours in the street,” he says.

“Hour after hour, cricket, football. I once batted for six weeks before they got me.”

It’s filled with his typical humour, warmth and honesty – and not a single mention of a burst pipe.

The Little Book Of Dickie Bird is published by Dalesman. Out October 1, £2.99.