Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff delivers rousing first speech to England camp since near-fatal Top Gear crash

4 October 2023, 15:19 | Updated: 4 October 2023, 15:23

Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff delivers rousing first speech to England camp since near-fatal Top Gear crash
Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff delivers rousing first speech to England camp since near-fatal Top Gear crash. Picture: LBC / ECB

By Danielle DeWolfe

The first video of Freddie Flintoff speaking following his near-fatal Top Gear crash has emerged, with the cricketer delivering a rousing speech to his England teammates.

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The former England all-rounder gave a stirring speech during the brief cap ceremony, which saw the cricketer and presenter reference his own horror car accident.

It's the first time Flintoff has been filmed speaking since December's crash, which saw the 45-year-old cricketer airlifted to hospital during filming for the latest series of Top Gear at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey.

Speaking as he handed over the cap to cricketer Tom Hartley, marking his first One Day International for England, Flintoff spoke of the support his cricketing "family" had provided in recent months.

"They'll share the good times with you, the successes," said Flintoff. "But as I found over the past few months, they'll be there during the hardest times of your life. They will stand next to you."

"When you get this cap, it changes your life. It's one of those things," he added.

Addressing members of the England team, Flintoff told Hartley to "play with passion, play with pride, play with belief".

The 45-year-old has returned to cricket in an entirely different capacity following his accident, working closely with the ODI squad.

The footage of Flintoff presenting the cap, which is a tradition ahead of a player's selection and national debut, was shot last month ahead of England's match against Ireland.

Read more: Andrew Flintoff's ex-England teammate Steve Harmison reveals star's reasons for dodging spotlight after Top Gear crash

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The star was spotted for the first time with scars and dressings on his face in early September, appearing at both England training sessions and on the balcony with the team at a number of their ODIs.

Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff delivers rousing first speech to England camp since near-fatal Top Gear crash
Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff delivers rousing first speech to England camp since near-fatal Top Gear crash. Picture: LBC / ECB

Posted to X - formerly Twitter - by the official England cricket account, the post accompanying the video read: "Like the lion on the cap. Be brave, be fearless, be proud. Amazing words from @flintoff11 <3 Congratulations, @tomhartley100"

Addressing Hartley, 24, Flintoff said: "Your journey hasn't been like a lot of people's - no academies, no systems, but to me suggests a steeliness, a determination, a passion, which might not be evident on the outside, but it's definitely burning inside."

Continuing: "So, like the lion on the cap Tom, be brave, be fearless and be proud and enjoy every minute."

The star was driving a three-wheeled Morgan Super 3 at the time, worth around £43,000, described as a "motorised tricycle" without airbags.

The star suffering severe facial injuries during the crash, waiting up to 45 minutes for the air ambulance to arrive following the accident.

Flintoff is considered one of England's greatest all-rounders, forming an integral part of the side that won the iconic 2009 Ashes series.

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