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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 19:57 GMT 20:57 UK
Final farewells to hero Trueman
Fred Trueman
Fred Trueman was the first man to take 300 Test wickets
Cricketing stars from the past and present have gathered in North Yorkshire to pay their last respects to one of the game's greats, Fred Trueman.

Mr Trueman, who played 67 Tests, died of lung cancer last Saturday aged 75.

The Yorkshire and England cricketer - known as "Fiery Fred" for his fast bowling style - was buried in Bolton Abbey Priory Church graveyard.

Ex-England skipper Ray Illingworth and Former Yorkshire captain Brian Close joined current players for the service.

Hundreds of mourners packed the church to hear tributes and anecdotes about the bowler's life.

Former international umpire and Yorkshire team mate Dickie Bird paid an emotional tribute to his friend.

"He was a genius," he said. "And I use that word very, very sparingly.

England lost more than a football match on Saturday, it lost a genuine sporting hero
The Rev John Ward, Rector of Bolton Abbey
"There have not been very many geniuses in sport - Muhammad Ali in boxing, Maradona, Pele and Best in football, Michael Johnson the great American athlete, Bradman, Sobers, Lillee and Trueman. I put him up there."

Close to tears, Mr Bird said he had lost a wonderful friend.

Trueman became the first Test player to reach 300 Test wickets and ended his career with a total of 307 from just 67 Tests.

He was called a "cricketing colossus" by the Rector of Bolton Abbey.

He added: "England lost more than a football match on Saturday, it lost a genuine sporting hero. But the loss to his country, his fans or his friends is as nothing compared to that of his family."

After the service, Brian Close said: "He was one of the greatest fast bowlers ever, as far as I was concerned. He was a great man."

Yorkshire's current first team coach David Byas added: "He epitomised everything that cricket was about. He was a true Yorkshireman. He was Yorkshire through-and-through."

Rare film footage of Mr Trueman was included in a half-hour tribute to the cricketing hero, screened on BBC One in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire on Thursday night.




SEE ALSO
Photos from Fred Trueman's funeral
06 Jul 06 |  Photo Galleries
Tributes pour in for Trueman
01 Jul 06 |  Cricket
Farewell 'Fiery Fred'
01 Jul 06 |  Cricket

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