Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Ex-umpire Dickie Bird receives OBE from Prince of Wales

Former Test cricket umpire Dickie Bird has been presented with an OBE from the Prince of Wales for an outstanding sporting career.

Mr Bird, from Barnsley, received the honour at a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony.

The 79-year-old was regarded as one of the game's most popular and consistent umpires.

He described receiving the OBE as "the pinnacle of my career" and added: "I feel very proud and humble."

Mr Bird was recognised for his sporting career and also his charity work, establishing his Dickie Bird Foundation to help under-privileged youngsters.

Speaking after the ceremony, he said: "This makes me look back to my playing and my umpiring days and also my charity.

"We give grants to help youngsters with their sports, they've got to be under 18, and my aim is to get them off street corners, get them away from television and give them a start in life."

Mr Bird enjoyed a 23-year career as an international umpire before stepping down in 1996.

As a player he represented Yorkshire and Leicestershire.

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.

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