Dickie and Parky open up at Lord's
Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird was awarded a Honorary Life Membership of the ECB Association of Cricket Officials by Sir Michael Parkinson for his services to umpiring which made him famous around the world.
Arguably the most well-known umpire to ever stand, Dickie received his award from his childhood friend and former Barnsley Cricket Club opening partner Parkinson at the ACO's Annual Conference at Lord's.
In front of 300 members, Dickie and 'Parky' spent time reliving some of the umpire's fondest memories from out in the middle. He then received a standing ovation and a minute-long applause from the enthralled members.
“The award means a lot to me," said Dickie.
"It’s heart-warming to be recognised by fellow umpires. ECB ACO are doing a great job for recreational umpires and hopefully a few of them will reach the professional game in years to come.
“It was a great day at Lord’s. It was really good to see Sir Michael again and talk about the good old days.”
Dickie and Sir Michael were the main attractions at the conference, with other guest speakers including former England all-rounder Jeremy Snape, ECB Umpires’ Manager Chris Kelly and former England captain and current ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships, Mike Gatting.
Having retired from umpiring international cricket in 1996, following 66 Tests and 92 one-day internationals, Dickie set up the Dickie Bird Foundation in 2004 which aims to help financially disadvantaged young people across the UK to participate in the sport of their choice by assisting with the costs of equipment, clothing and travel.
ECB ACO were delighted to raise £340 for Dickie’s foundation after auctioning off a signed picture of the legendary umpire.
Keith Sutherland of Durham and David Heap from Lancashire were also awarded Honorary Life Membership for their outstanding service to ECB ACO.