Andrew Flintoff was covering up his face until six weeks ago, says former England team-mate Steve Harmison

11 September 2023, 15:54 | Updated: 13 September 2023, 16:26

Flintoff was covering his face until recently, says Steve Harmison
Flintoff was covering his face until recently, says Steve Harmison. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff was covering his face up six weeks ago after his horrific crash he suffered filming Top Gear, his former team-mate Steve Harmison has said.

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Flintoff, 45, was seen on Friday at England's opening one-day international against New Zealand, which they lost by eight wickets. He was also seen on Sunday at the next game.

Flintoff, a former England captain, is serving in an advisory role with the team for this series, and was praised by the team's captain Jos Buttler.

He was rushed to hospital last December after suffering severe facial injuries in an accident while shooting for Top Gear at an aerodrome in Surrey.

Steve Harmison, who played with Flintoff for England over several years, saw him six weeks ago and said he had his face covered.

Explained: What happened in Freddie Flintoff's crash and what will cricket legend do next?

Flintoff on Sunday
Flintoff on Sunday. Picture: Getty

"It's been tough, you've seen the pictures of him with a smile on his face but I saw him about six weeks ago when my son Charlie and his son, Rocky played against each other and it was great to see him," he told TalkSport.

"Obviously I roomed with Andrew for the best part of 15 years and we'd gone through all our careers together and so to see our two sons playing each other, Northumberland against Lancashire, it was fantastic.

Read More: BBC fear they could be forced to 'water down' Top Gear in the wake of Andrew Flintoff's accident

Read more: Freddie Flintoff to make TV return for 'passion project' months after Top Gear crash

Flintoff. Picture: Getty

"I got to see him then but at that time he covered his face up when he walked around – believe it or not, he was training a guide dog which I'm sure is going better now than it was because he tripped over around three times on his way around the field!

Former England captain Andrew Flintoff
Former England captain Andrew Flintoff. Picture: Alamy

"He was on great form, but to see him around the England group, the main team, was fantastic. This England team are a good bunch and not only are they great cricketers, but they're great ambassadors.

"Freddie was always brilliant in the dressing room and so to have Andrew in the dressing room with them and feeling comfortable and letting him get his feet under the table because they'll be in for a show."

Read more: Andrew Flintoff 'could never return to Top Gear' after horror smash left him 'psychologically traumatised'

Read more: Top Gear's Freddie Flintoff had 'no helmet or airbag' and 'was left in agony for 45 minutes after crash'

Andrew Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff. Picture: Alamy

After the England game in Cardiff, current captain Jos Buttler said it was "great" to have Flintoff around the squad and he had "settled in really well"

He said: "So he's been starting to do some stuff in cricket.

"It's just great for him to be around, he's obviously an England legend and it's just nice to have him around the group.

"He's not been brought in with any specific role, just to be around and observe.

"A few of the lads can pick his brains a little bit and he's settled in really well. It's great to have him with us. Just for this series."

Andrew Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff. Picture: Getty

A statement from BBC Studios earlier this year said it had "concluded its investigation into the accident at the Top Gear Test Track in Surrey last December, which regrettably injured presenter Freddie Flintoff".

It continued: "We have sincerely apologised to Freddie and will continue to support him with his recovery. Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34 of Top Gear at this time.

"We understand this will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do, and we'll make a judgement about how best to continue later this year. This has also impacted the production team, who we continue to support."

Flintoff is said to have had to wait just shy of an hour for an air ambulance while the Top Gear team struggled to find a medical stretcher for him after his crash.

He is also believed to have been without a helmet in a car that was not fitted with an airbag

Andrew Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff. Picture: Alamy

Flintoff played in 79 Tests and 141 one-day matches for England and was a pivotal figure in multiple Ashes triumphs over Australia. He ended his international career in 2009 after helping England to an Ashes series victory before he retired from all forms of the game in 2015.

He went on to launch a career in broadcasting, including featuring on Sky's 'A League Of Their Own' and BBC's Top Gear.

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