BBC North & North East
On and off the cricket pitch, Fred Trueman was a colourful, larger-than-life personality, as famous for his blunt-speaking as for his exploits as one of the world’s most passionate and aggressive fast bowlers. This affectionate tribute, featuring interviews with friends, admirers and team-mates, was transmitted within a week of his death, at the age of 75.
At the height of his career, Trueman was regularly taking 100-plus wickets for Yorkshire, and was the first man to take 300 test wickets. Had the England selectors been on his side (Fred was a thorn in the side of the Establishment and wasn’t selected for 51 of the 118 tests England played in his career) many believe he could have reached a thousand.
After his cricketing career came to an end, Trueman went on to become a presenter for Yorkshire Television, bringing his own inimitable style to the screen. In the 1970s he presented Indoor League with a pint of bitter in on hand and his pipe in the other. At the end of each show (the first ever to broadcast live darts) he signed off with his trademark ‘al sithi.’
Presented by Harry Gration, Fiery Fred: A Yorkshire Legend hears memories of the legendary cricketer from friends and contemporaries like Dickie Bird, Geoffrey Boycott, Ray Illingworth and Brian Close. Through their testimony and with rich archive of the man in action, it builds a portrait of the man so many young cricketers idolised and so many feared.