Royal honour for umpire Bird

2012-05-15 18:09
Dickie Bird (File)

London - English umpiring great Harold "Dickie" Bird was presented with an honour at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday in recognition of his outstanding sporting career and charity work.

The 79-year-old was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), receiving the honour from Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, at the investiture ceremony in London.

Bird, from Barnsley in Yorkshire, northern England, stood in what was then a world record 66 Tests from 1973 to 1996 before stepping down as a Test umpire.

He joked about needing a strong tipple after the ceremony.

"I don't normally drink, but I could do with a brandy," he joked.

Bird described the OBE as a "great honour" and said it was something he would cherish.

Prince Charles presented the honour just a few months after the men met in the former official's home town, where they chatted beneath a statue of Bird unveiled in 2009.

"The prince said to me it was a well-deserved honour, and it was so nice to see that I've got it and I said thank you very much for coming to Barnsley," Bird said after receiving the OBE.

Bird is fondly remembered as one of the game's great characters as well as one of its finest umpires. He officiated in three One Day International World Cup finals.

He criticised the modern use of television replays and technology to help umpires made crucial decisions.

"I do miss umpiring, but it's completely changed now: umpiring is done by a machine. In my era we made the decisions on the field," he said.

"If umpires made a mistake in those days people talked about it in the pubs, in the clubs, the press, the television, the radio - it was part of the game. Now it's changed so much.

"I certainly miss it but you cannot stop time."

Read more on:    cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who should open the batting alongside Dean Elgar in SA's four-Test series against England in July?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.