Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book Review - Dickie Bird - My Autobiography

Shep mentioned Dickie Bird's autobiography in his own. I've recently finished reading it and what a fantastic read it was. Full of genuinely funny anecdotes from his playing days through to his umpiring. I wasn't aware of his upbringing or playing career for Yorkshire and Leicestershire and only knew him as an international umpire. What a charmed life he lead although not everything went to plan. Even the foreward by Michael Parkinson was interesting - unlike Shep's done by Richie Benaud.

Unlike Shep's autobiography Dickie is quite fond of praising himself and his achievements. He mentions, twice, that he has met the Queen on 27 occasions and been introduced to two prime ministers. Old Dickie is certainly no shrinking violet. I don't think that he is too full of himself but is full of a love of cricket and life. He really wants to have a positive impact on everyone around him.

I laughed out loud to some of his antics such as arriving at the to umpire his first test match so early in the morning that he had to climb the gates and was stopped by a policeman who didn't believe that he was the umpire. Dickie hated to be late and made quite a habit of being early. It's a wonder that he didn't give himself an ulcer as he appears to be a born worrier. And he must have been the only umpire to halt a game due to light - when the reflection of sunlight from windows was shining on the pitch. He also had a match interrupted by snow! Not only that but underground piping that burst and held up a game when the ground became flooded. And who could forget the bomb alert when Dickie thought that the pitch was the safest place to be and there he sat with several thousands of the spectators until the ground was cleared by the police. He was so well know for taking the players off the ground due to bad light, especially so at Old Trafford, that when asked by one spectator why the players were coming off, "For bad light?" that his response of, "It's lunch, sir." was highly amusing.

Dickie Bird - My Autobiography
Quite a character is Dickie Bird. And quite a good book he has written. If you love the game of cricket you'll probably enjoy the book. I know I certainly did. Not bad for $1 either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will read this. He is a cool guy. Gil