Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Prince Charles meets Dickie Bird in Barnsley

Dickie Bird and Prince Charles in Barnsley. Picture: John Giles/PA Wire
Image caption Mr Bird said he was "humbled" to meet the prince in his home town of Barnsley

The Prince of Wales told cricket umpiring veteran Dickie Bird he was hoping for an upturn in the England team's fortunes when the two men met.

Prince Charles was making his first visit to Mr Bird's home town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

The men met at the statue put up in the middle of Barnsley in 2009 to honour Mr Bird.

The prince earlier arrived at Wakefield, West Yorkshire, on a 1950s steam engine.

Mr Bird said he and the royal visitor had discussed cricket and the current series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates which began with a crushing defeat for England.

He said: "He said to me 'I'd like to see England do a lot better in this Test series'. I said 'I would as well'."

The bronze statue of Dickie Bird includes the umpire's classic pose, giving a batsman out with a finger in the air.

'Just marvellous'

Mr Bird said the prince had asked him whether the sculptor had got the finger the right way round.

Image caption The prince arrived in West Yorkshire on a restored 1950s steam locomotive

He added that visit was a very special occasion for Barnsley.

He said: "The heir to the throne in my own town is just marvellous. Barnsley deserves it.

"I never left the town. I was born and bred in the town and they are wonderful, wonderful people."

The prince's visit to Yorkshire had begun at Kirkgate station in Wakefield, where he unveiled the renamed Britannia steam locomotive, which has been restored from an engine originally built in 1951.

As he stepped off the train he was serenaded by a brass band playing Singing In The Rain and Beatles classic Ticket To Ride.

Pop producer and train enthusiast Pete Waterman introduced him to young people who had worked on restoring the train.

After unveiling its new name plaque, the prince smiled, patted the locomotive and said: "Jolly good engine."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites