Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Ex-umpire Dickie Bird becomes OBE

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Media captionDickie Bird talks of his delight at being honoured

Former Test cricket umpire Dickie Bird has been appointed OBE for services to the sport and to charity.

Mr Bird, 78, from Barnsley, was regarded as one of the game's most popular and consistent umpires.

A guard of honour by the players and a standing ovation from the crowd marked his final Test, between England and India, at Lord's in 1996.

After retiring in 1998, he set up the Dickie Bird Foundation which gives grants to under-privileged children.

'Out of the blue'

Speaking about the award, Mr Bird told the BBC: "It came as quite a surprise... but I'm tremendously delighted and honoured to get this great honour, this OBE.

"It's a marvellous and wonderful honour and I never expected it, really.

"It came out of the blue, because I got the MBE in 1986 which is a long time ago, and so when this came along I was completely stunned, shocked."

Talking about his foundation, Mr Bird said: "It's for under-privileged kids, who the mothers and parents can't afford to buy them sports equipment... and if we think they are a worthy cause then we send them a grant.

"And my aim is to get them off street corners, away from television, doing exercises and giving them a start in life."

Other people honoured in South Yorkshire include the county force's recently-retired chief constable, Med Hughes, who has been appointed CBE for his services to the police.

World taekwondo champion Sarah Stevenson, from Doncaster, becomes an MBE for her services to martial arts.

And Christine Manby has been appointed OBE for her work with South Yorkshire's Women's Royal Voluntary Service.

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