Freddie Flintoff clip shows icon speaking for first time since Top Gear crash

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New footage of Freddie Flintoff has been released, with the clip showing the cricket icon speaking in public for the first time since he was involved in a near-fatal accident while filming for Top Gear last December. The 45-year-old has returned to the cricket scene to work with the England ODI squad.

Flintoff became a Top Gear presenter in 2019 alongside Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris. But four years into the role, he was involved in a 130mph crash at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey after his three-wheeled open-top car, which didn’t have airbags, flipped over. The accident was said to have nearly killed Flintoff, with the blockbuster star spending five weeks in hospital.

Flintoff returned to the cricket pitch at the start of September as he worked with Three Lions players during their one-day international against New Zealand at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. And he has joined the team in an unpaid consultancy role ever since.

Flintoff was on hand to present Tom Hartley with his first ODI cap ahead of the match with Ireland last month. And England Cricket have now released a clip of the emotional speech the former all-rounder made as he addressed the 24-year-old.

Read more… ‘I nearly died from a stroke, now I’m playing cricket for England’

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“It gives me so much pleasure to share what’s going to be a day, Tom, that you’re going to remember for the rest of your life,” Flintoff began. “Your journey hasn’t been like a lot of people’s. There was no academies, no systems but to me [that] suggests a steeliness, a determination, a passion which might not be evident on the outside but it’s definitely burning inside.

“When you get this cap it changes your life. It’s one of those things, it’s before and after it. This enables you to walk tall and move faster. Play with passion, play with pride, play with belief. And also a part of a family of people.

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“They’ll share the good times with you, the successes. But as I found over the past few months, they’ll be there in the hardest times of your life, they will stand next to you. So like the lion on the cap Tom, be brave, be fearless, be proud and enjoy every minute. It gives me great pleasure to present cap number 272 to Tom Hartley.”

Following Flintoff’s accident, filming of Top Gear was suspended, and it is unknown whether the series will ever resume. “Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34 of Top Gear at this time,” the BBC said in a statement in March.

“We understand this will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do, and we’ll make a judgment about how best to continue later this year. This has also impacted the production team, who we continue to support. Finally there will be a health and safety review of the show, in line with our procedures.”

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