Legendary Yorkshire and England cricketer ‘Fiery’ Fred Trueman – the first bowler to take 300 Test wickets - has returned to his roots in Yorkshire in the form of a striking bronze statue that was unveiled on Thursday 18 March.
The larger-than-life-size statue was funded as a result of the Fred Trueman Appeal - set up by Northern Rail and Craven District Council in 2007 - and cast by internationally renowned sculptor Graham Ibbeson.
Graham has also created statues of Eric Morcambe, Les Dawson and Dickie Bird (amongst others) and his tribute to Fred now stands in the heart of Skipton – the iconic cricketer’s home for many years.
Veronica Trueman, Fred’s wife of 36 years, said: “It’s fantastic to see Fred back in Skipton standing in such a beautiful location, and it’s wonderful to think it will act as a focal point for tourists, cricket fans and the people living in Skipton and the Yorkshire Dales
“Fred was a passionate Yorkshireman and he really loved this part of the world so it really is a great day for all his family, friends and fans of cricket.”
The statue was unveiled by Veronica Trueman, Graham Ibbeson and Steve Butcher, deputy Managing Director of Northern Rail, in a canalside park in Skipton earlier today (Thursday, March 18). The launch also saw members of the public buying Fred memorabilia, including bottles of specially brewed Freddie Trueman Yorkshire Ale that has been created by local brewery Copper Dragon.
Steve Butcher said: “The unveiling of this striking and powerful statue marks the culmination of three years of hard work to raise funds for the appeal and we are thrilled that it is now finished.
“I must thank the Trueman family for their support, and Veronica in particular because she has supported this project from the start and has been tireless in her efforts to help with the fundraising.
“The end result is a remarkable tribute to a true one-off, a cricketing legend and proud Yorkshireman who gave his all for the county and the country - as well as raising thousands for charity as well.”
The statue is now the property of Craven District Council, who also generously supported the Freddie Trueman Statue Appeal - and it is hoped it will attract tourists and cricket lovers from all over the world.
Councillor David Crawford, Chairman of Craven District Council said: “Fiery Fred was a staunch Yorkshire man and we are proud that his statue is here in Skipton, the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. We are sure that the statue will attract many visitors to Craven. Its setting by the canal is a great spot to come and think about Fred and reflect on all that he contributed to cricket and his country.”