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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 July 2006, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Tributes pour in for Trueman
Fred Trueman
Trueman was the first bowler to take 300 Test wickets
Tributes have been flooding in for England bowling legend Fred Trueman after his death at the age of 75.

The Yorkshire paceman, affectionately nicknamed 'Fiery Fred', died after losing a battle with lung cancer.

His former Yorkshire skipper Brian Close said: "I captained many cricketers but none finer."

Another ex-England captain Graham Gooch added: "What a tragic day. He was one of England's greats without doubt, both as a character and a bowler."

Trueman played for Yorkshire between 1949-1969, taking more than 2,000 first-class wickets, and also claimed 307 wickets in 67 Tests

"He got through so much more work - 1,100 overs in a season," added ex-England captain Close. "He was a great outswing bowler - a fast bowler who also made it go away off the pitch."

Former Yorkshire and England team-mates Ray Illingworth and Geoff Boycott were equally fulsome in their praise.

Illingworth said: "You hear a lot about how good certain fast bowlers have been but this fellow was really the best, there is absolutely no doubt about that.

"He was a great character but with a bit of fun about him and he was never nasty. He was well known for his comments about other players but there was never any malice in what he said."

He would go into the opposing dressing room and he'd say: 'You're mine, you're mine, you're mine, you're mine and you're mine'

Graham Gooch

Boycott added: "He always said something that made you laugh - I can't repeat most of it - but he was also genuinely fast, nasty, aggressive and a truly great bowler.

"Great is an over-used word - but he was great. He didn't play against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, he bowled against West Indies when they had Kanhai, Worrell, Weekes, Walcott, and Sobers - great batsmen."

Sir Everton Weekes, who enjoyed many tussles with Trueman, remembers his first meeting with him.

"I had a run-in with him in 1954, when the England team came to Jamaica. I was asked to be part of the committee meeting the English players.

"When I was introduced to him he said: 'You're one of those so-called three 'W's aren't you?'

"From then on we became good friends and our relationship grew from strength to strength."

Graham Gooch recalled a story of how Trueman, known by his initials F.S, would try to intimidate batsmen before county matches.

"He would go into the opposing dressing room and he'd say: 'You're mine, you're mine, you're mine, you're mine and you're mine'. That's my five for the day," the former Essex skipper said.

"I remember playing one of my first Test matches at Lord's in 1975 and he was commentating.

"Bob Woolmer was picked as third seamer for England and he (Trueman) said: 'I'm quicker than him right now.' F.S. was 55 at the time."

Fellow ex-England captain Mike Gatting added: "His consistency, pace and movement made him a great fast bowler.

"He was a competitor who wouldn't give up and loved playing the game. He wasn't too fond of going in the gym and training, but he'd bowl all day for you."

SEE ALSO
Farewell 'Fiery Fred'
01 Jul 06 |  Cricket
Trueman's career in pictures
01 Jul 06 |  Photo Galleries


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