Freddie Trueman is set to make a triumphant return to Headingley the scene of some of his most memorable bowling performances for both Yorkshire CCC and England.
Fred returns in the form of a special miniature version of the life size statue to be unveiled in Skipton in March 2010 and the maquette will be one of the central pieces of the new cricket museum set to open at Headingley next year.
The bronze maquette, which weighs about 2kg, stands at around 1/10th of the size of the life-size statue which has been created by renowned sculptor Graham Ibbeson.
The profits from the sale of this maquette have been donated to The Freddie Trueman Statue Appeal, which has been created and led by Northern Rail.
David Hall, Chairman of the Archives at YCCC, said: “We are delighted to have acquired the wonderful maquette of Fred Trueman from Graham Ibbeson.
“It will have a special place in the ‘Legends Area’, which honours those players who have contributed so much to the wonderful cricketing history of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.”
A very limited edition of only seven reproduction maquettes will be produced in bronze - in tribute to the ‘magnificent seven’ – Yorkshire’s outstanding run of success between 1959 and 1968 when they picked up the County Championship seven times.
The dynamic new sculpture of ‘Fiery Fred’ has been created by Barnsley based artist Graham Ibbeson, who has also immortalised in statue form celebrities including Eric Morcambe, Cary Grant, Les Dawson and Laurel and Hardy.
He said: “Usually the Sculptor will keep this cast as part of their own collection, on this occasion I thought it fitting my small, bronze maquette (and artist proof) of Fred Trueman should be offered to The Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
“I hope my portrait captures some of the great affection I have for Fred Trueman. I personally see it as a small, but heartfelt tribute to a true Yorkshire icon, and one of the greatest fast bowlers ever.”
The unveiling of the life size statue is set to be heralded by a Freddie Trueman Tribute Dinner held at the Queens Hotel in Leeds on March 17, 2010. Guests will have the opportunity to meet legendary Yorkshire players set to be in attendance including Brian Close, Ray Illingworth, Geoff Boycott, Dickie Bird and Bryan Stott. There will also be a number of rare and unique items of cricket memorabilia on offer in the auction to be held as part of the celebrations.
Heidi Mottram, Managing Director of Northern Rail said: “Fred was a fast bowling legend and a Yorkshire icon - and we are proud to lead the appeal to create his statue.
“We are committed to working with the communities we serve and we know to a great many people Fred was an inspiration as well as a great sportsman. We are very much looking forward to seeing the statue put in place in his honour.”
‘Fiery Fred’, as he was affectionately nicknamed, was regarded as one of the finest fast bowlers in history and was the first Englishman to take 300 Test wickets. Born in South Yorkshire in 1931, Trueman made his Yorkshire first class debut in 1949 and went on to play 459 times for the county notching 1,745 wickets.
In 67 Tests for England Trueman took 307 wickets. He retired in 1972 to pursue a career in the media and passed away in 2006.
The stunning bronze statue of Freddie in action will be unveiled on Thursday 18 March 2010 in Skipton. For more details on the Gala Dinner, ring 01562 887323.
© Cricket World 2010