Lancashire cricketing legend Andrew Flintoff proved he was still up and batting last night when he staged a major show in his home town of Preston.
The 37-year-old former England captain was hoping to knock ‘em for six at the the Guild Hall with friend and TV producer Clyde Holcroft for a live, unscripted show.
With around 1,300 tickets sold for the show, “Freddie” admitted in advance that he was feeling nervous but excited about appearing at the Guild Hall.
The show, called Freddie Flintoff:2nd Innings, is based on a sporting podcast made last year on Freddie’s phone, which meandered from cricket talk to a wide variety of anecdotes.
Last night was the first time he had performed at the Preston venue since the 1992 Guild when he sang as part of the Ribbleton Hall High School choir.
Freddie also made headlines at the Guild Hall when he was five when he was pictured in the Evening Post getting an autograph from snooker legend Steve Davis.
As fans gathered last night, the cricket and TV star admitted he might get a bit of stick from a few people he knew.
He said recently: “We’ll be having a chat about all kinds of things, and most of the stuff will be at my expense.
“We’ll be talking a bit about cricket, but you don’t need to be a massive fan because we’ll also be chatting about loads of other things I’ve got up to.
“Out of all the venues I’m doing, Preston’s the one I’m most looking forward to.
I’m going to get heckled like you wouldn’t believe, and if anything goes wrong I won’t be allowed to forget it.Andrew Flintoff
“We’re being ambitious with some of the venues, like London Palace Theatre, but in Preston I’m going to have a lot of people who know me in the audience.
“I’m going to get heckled like you wouldn’t believe, and if anything goes wrong I won’t be allowed to forget it.”
A Guild Hall spokesman said: “Tickets have gone well and it should be a great night.”
The tour visits venues including Nottingham Leeds and Sheffield and returns to Lancashire in October at the King George’s Hall in Blackburn.One fan said of a recent show: “This was laugh out loud from start to finish! A brilliant night of funny stories from Freddie’s career. It was a simple format which worked so well, and Fred is such a natural story teller.”