Go Bird watching

Cricket umpire Dickie Bird of Staincross, Barnsley who is to be presented with the OBE ' See Story Tom Richmond  Picture by Chris Lawton'30 Dec 2011

Cricket umpire Dickie Bird of Staincross, Barnsley who is to be presented with the OBE ' See Story Tom Richmond Picture by Chris Lawton'30 Dec 2011

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CRICKET umpire Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird will be flashing his recently acquired OBE at Blackpool Grand Theatre tonight.

Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird OBE is not only the world’s most famous, and best loved cricket umpire, he is also one of the most entertaining public speakers around.

Awarded the OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2012 for his services to cricket and charity, ‘Dickie’ Bird began his cricket career in 1956 playing for Yorkshire.

He’d previously played football before an injury put pay to his career so joined his close friend, Michael Parkinson and Geoff Boycott in playing club cricket.

Between 1956 and 1964, Dickie was a batsman for both Yorkshire and Leicester, before retiring to coach at league cricket level and eventually became an umpire.

Widely regarded as one of the game’s most popular, and consistent, umpires ‘Dickie’ Bird was given a guard of honour by players, and a standing ovation from the crowd, when he umpired his last Test Match in 1996.

After retiring, he set up the Dickie Bird Foundation, giving grants to under-privileged children.

Dickie told the BBC: “It’s for under-privileged kids, who the mothers and parents can’t afford to buy them sports equipment, and if we think they are a worthy cause then we send them a grant.

“And my aim is to get them off street corners, away from television, doing exercises and giving them a start in life.”

Dickie then said of his OBE: “It’s a marvellous and wonderful honour and I never expected it, really.

“It came out of the blue, because I got the MBE in 1986 which is a long time ago, and so when this came along I was completely stunned, shocked.”

Join Dickie for an evening full of anecdotes about the game he loves so much – and has served so well – with some fascinating behind the scenes glimpses of cricket around the world over the past 40 years.

With an engaging character, the down to earth wit of a great Yorkshire man and an outstanding gift for storytelling an evening with Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird OBE is not to be missed.

All seats are £15.

Call the box office on (01253) 743339 or click on www.blackpoolgrand.co.auk, or visit us the Grand Theatre information sales point in the

Houndshill Shopping Centre.