If you’re going to launch a Cricket Legends Series then it’s important you set a tone, raise the bar or aim as high as possible. The appearance of Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird in the intimate space of the Sanctum Hotel’s Variety Screening Room spoke of ambition achieved and some! With a glint in his eye (often reserved for his interviewer, the warm and informed, Jemima Bird (no relation!) Dickie regaled the sold out crowd with humility, humour and honesty about his stunning playing & international umpiring career. From the very beginning at his beloved Yorkshire to the biggest World Cup, Ashes & Test stages he explained just how he became so respected and loved by players, officials and luminaries the world over.
Everyone enjoyed his especially curated Yorkshire meal and howled as he berated the organisers for forgetting the bread roll for his Tomato soup, putting dressing on his salad and not delivering his extra portions of onion rings to go with his Fish, Chips & Mushy Peas supper in timely fashion!! Yes, the infamous dismissal finger was nearly raised in anger…
Happy to have a picture or sign an autograph with anyone he also helped us raise a fantastic £7000 by donating a Joe Root signed cricket bat, signed packages of his books (including still the UK’s best ever selling sports book, My Autobiography), signed rules of cricket sets and 3 pristine leather cherries adorned with his golden autograph! The raffle brought cheers of delight as people accepted unexpected prizes and the auction got frantic for a signed England Test Team shirt and two tickets in the Headingley Pavilion for the test against South Africa on Aug 25/26 and lunch with Mr Bird Esq!
The great man also had the generosity of character to tease our next Cricket dinner speaker, Mr Alan Lamb, with a fantastic story about being out in the crease “wi ‘is mobile…which when it rang I had to answer and it was Ian Botham saying get a bloody move on and score some runs!!” Classic.
It was yet another great night for the Truants, a new string to their intimate dinner series bow and yet another healthy contribution to the charities they relentlessly support.
The Alan Lamb Cricket Legends Dinner is on 28th September 2017 priced at £200 for the crease (Top Table!) & £175 for the ‘outfield’!