Freddie Flintoff speaks out publicly for first time since Top Gear crash
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Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff has been filmed speaking for the first time since the horror crash that almost claimed his life.
In truth, it seems as if it could have been a lot worse, too.
However, the Preston-born 45-year-old is made of sterner stuff than that, and seems to be bouncing back from his brush with death.
In recent times, the talismanic former England player has been seen helping out with the preparations for the current team’s journey to the 50-over ICC Cricket World Cup in India, which gets underway later this week.
He’s been offering some coaching and mentorship, allowing the team to use his considerable experience when preparing to defend the trophy they won in such dramatic fashion back in 2019.
Whilst he’s not really spoken about the crash that saw him dragged along the floor of Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey on his face, Flintoff did give a moving speech whilst presenting England player Tom Hartley with his international cap.
In the clip, shared on X, Flintoff paid tribute to the ‘family’ environment around the team, as well as saying that good teammates will always ‘be there for you in the hardest times of your life’.
Speaking during the presentation, Freddie said: "It gives me so much pleasure to share what's going to be a day Tom that you're going to remember for the rest of your life.
"When you get this cap, this changes your life. It's one of those things, it's before and after it.
“This enables you to walk tall and move faster. Play with passion, play with pride, play with belief. And also part of a family of people.
"They'll share the good times with you, share the successes. But as I found over the past few months, they'll be there for you in the hardest times of your life.
"They will stand next to you. So, like the lion on the cap Tom, be brave, be, fearless, be proud and enjoy every minute."
He’s got a way with words, hasn’t he?
Whilst he’s obviously enjoying his work away with the national team, there is still speculation about what went on to cause the crash, with reports suggesting Flintoff had expressed concern beforehand.
The Mirror quotes a source as having said: “Freddie voiced his worries about the safety of the stunt on set on the day of the accident.
“He questioned whether or not it was OK, given the vehicle and conditions on the track. He was apprehensive before he got behind the wheel and production staff at the track were aware of this.
“He was obviously used to taking part in these stunts during his time on the show, but alarm bells were ringing.
“It has been openly discussed since the accident by Top Gear employees, who are in doubt whether the show will ever return to screens.”