15 February 2014

Fred

Observant bloggers will notice that I have once again changed my profile picture or avatar. Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be....
Frederick Sewards Trueman - the famous Yorkshire and England fast bowler. He was born into a poor family in the South Yorkshire hamlet of Stainton in 1931 - weighing 14lbs 1oz at birth. His father played for the village cricket team and later - when Fred was at Maltby Secondary School - he began to show his own  talent as a fast bowler. By the age of sixteen he was playing for the Sheffield United cricket club and by the age of eighteen - in 1949 - he was plunged into Yorkshire first team.

Nicknamed "Fiery Fred" because of his pace and his brusque Yorkshire demeanour, Freddie first played for England in June 1952 against India - taking seven wickets in the match. His first class figures are impressive. In county cricket he played in 603 matches taking 2304 wickets at an average of 18.5 runs per wicket. At test level, he played in 67 matches, taking 307 wickets at an average of  21.57 runs per wicket. On twenty eight occasions he managed a ten wicket haul in first class matches.

When he died in 2006, this is what The Guardian said of him:-

Not only was Fred Trueman one of the most magnificent fast bowlers England has ever produced, he was also one of the game's greatest characters. Trueman anecdotes, many of them embellished, others simply untrue, have enlivened many a cricket-dinner speech - and will continue to do so long after his passing.

His natural ability was supported by a fearsome image and a caustic wit. One true anecdote concerns his outcry - he would not have termed it sledging - to the Warwickshire batsman Billy Ibadulla. "You've got more edges than a broken pisspot," he exclaimed. He suggested to John Arlott, half jokingly, that his biography should be called "T'definitive story of't 'finest fast bowler that ever drew breath."
Fred Trueman's statue in Skipton, Yorkshire where he lived out his days. Having
been a pipe smoker most of his adult life, he succumbed to lung cancer. He is
buried in the cemetery at Bolton Abbey...

10 comments:

  1. I love the simplicity of the gravestone
    It belies his wit though

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    Replies
    1. I also appreciate the stone's simplicity - though I notice there's a proud Yorkshire rose on there too. I wonder if your gravestone will state your occupation John.? Personally, I'd rather not be defined by the job I did.

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    2. If I was famous for something I think I would like that to be flagged up
      I would like
      Nurse, friend, brother, dog owner, chicken savior
      X

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    3. Okay. We'll bury you in Trelawnyd churchyard - close to the Ukrainian village then we'll have knees up with cider and sandwiches, a disco and a personal visit from Matt Cardle. I'll introduce him to Chris.

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  2. I never noticed his grave. Most of the graves at Bolton Abbey look like tables. Maybe I have the wrong place.
    It is a grand headstone. Simple , elegant and understated.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder what they'll write on your tombstone Adrian. Have you left instructions? I think a couple of stone cherubs would be a nice touch...or maybe two stone Westies.

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  3. And I met Fred briefly too! It was back in the day that I worked for a company that had Webster's Brewery as a client and Fred did a lot of promotional work for them. My abiding memory is the smell of that pipe smoke.

    He was certainly among the most devastating quicks of any era, although my vote for the best ever England fast bowler would have to be Harold Larwood.

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  4. Who else did you meet Ian? This will be excellent for my kudos down at the pub when I brag to the others, "Well that's nowt duck! I know a bloke who was best mates with both Fred Trueman and Tom Finney - even though he knows sod all about fast bowling or football!" I doubt they'll be impressed if I refer to any of the various politicians you met in your working life.

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  5. "Aye, wasted on thee lad!", he supposedly said to a batsman who complimented him on a good ball. Are there any Yorkshiremen left who still talk like Fred?

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    Replies
    1. Aye, of course there are ye daft app'orth!

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