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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 23:02 GMT 00:02 UK
Bearded Wonder honoured
By Anna Thompson & Oliver Brett

Bill Frindall
Frindall joined the BBC in 1966
When Test Match Special statistician Bill Frindall heard he had been awarded an MBE he immediately set about finding out if any other scorers had received an honour.

And his research led him to Australian WH Ferguson, who was handed a British Empire Medal in the 1950s.

Frindall told BBC Sport: "It was a bit of a shock to find out I had been awarded an MBE but a nice shock.

"I'm absolutely chuffed. It's a tremendous honour and one I never expected to get for doing my hobby and getting paid for it for 40 years.

"It's an honour for all scorers across the land - that's the most wonderful aspect of it."

Frindall met Ferguson when he was 14 years old and a fledgling scorer himself.

"I share the same initials as him and I found out he died in Bath," he said. "My nearest hospital is in Bath but I hope I don't follow him in this trend as well."

Frindall, known as the Bearded Wonder, is as famed for his facial hair as his love of cricket statistics.

He has been a valuable member of the BBC's TMS team for five decades.

The 65-year-old began working for the BBC in 1966 when former scorer Arthur Wrigley died.

Frindall seized on the vacancy by telephoning the head of cricket coverage and he backed it up with a letter offering his services.

There have been 39 summers of anecdotes since and Frindall has worked alongside such luminaries as John Arlott and Brian Johnston, who christened him Bearders.

Nothing seems to have given Frindall more pleasure than answering Radio Four listeners questions and the emails sent to the BBC Sport website.

Many have attempted to stump the Bearded Wonder but not many have succeeded.

One statistic Frindall is proud of is the fact he has not missed a single Test match in this country since his BBC debut against West Indies at Old Trafford.

Frindall began his BBC career clean shaven but started growing his now famous beard after the first season.

A complete cricket anorak, Frindall has compiled umpteen books and spent a brief spell as a correspondent on the Mail on Sunday.

He is also president of British Blind Sport.

Although he is extremely proud of his MBE, he said he "would not stick it on his front door".

And he added: "I am sure the rest of the TMS team will give me some terrible stick when they find out."

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