Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Freddie Trueman

Freddie Trueman, probably the greatest fast bowler in the history of cricket, has died aged 75.

Frederick Sewards Trueman was born at Stainton, near Doncaster, in 1931, and started playing cricket at school.

No doubt some of his strength and grit came from working in the coalmines as a teenager. In any event, his talent was noticed by Yorkshire, and he made his debut for them in 1949, performing so well that in 1950 he played in a Test trial.

He was a much feared Test bowler in the 50s and 60s. In 1952 he made his England debut, starting sensationally by taking three Indian wickets without conceding a run. That year he took 29 wickets in 4 Tests at an average of 13.3, including 8-31 in the first innings at Old Trafford.

For years Freddie opened the bowling for England in the company of Brian Statham of Lancashire. Such a terrific pairing were they that Frank Tyson of Northamptonshire, himself a great fast bowler, hardly got a look in.

Freddie Trueman was the first man to take 300 Test wickets, and had taken 307 by his retirement. Although a number of players have since passed his landmark, it must be remembered that in those far off days nowhere near as much Test cricket was played.

After finishing his Yorkshire career, Freddie played briefly in One Day matches for Derbyshire, before joining the BBC’s Test Match commentary team.

He was awarded the O.B.E., but was widely expected to receive a knighthood. This never happened, and it is generally believed that this was probably because his blunt but truthful Yorkshire working class way of speaking got up a lot of influential noses.

Freddie Trueman, a much admired cricketer, died of cancer on 1st July 2006.