Hero Worship Hero WorshipRSS FeedFeeds
Cricketers on their idols

Doug Walters on Fred Trueman

Being Freddie

The floppy-haired fast bowler who became a batsman's idol

Nagraj Gollapudi

Text size: A | A

Hair-raising: Trueman bowls in 1953 © Getty Images

When I played backyard cricket as a kid, my brother and sister always got to pick first who they would play as, since they were older. They always opted for Australians and I had to be Colin Cowdrey or Ted Dexter or Garfield Sobers, the other heroes of that era.

Back then I used to have more success with the ball than the bat, and Freddie Trueman became my childhood model. I only heard about him on the radio and read about him in the papers, but that was enough. I used to have long hair that would flop in the fashion of Trueman's as I charged up the wicket to bowl - only, the comparison ended once I got to the crease.

The radio broadcasters in those days were pretty good at describing exactly what went on, and listening to them helped me shape my imitations. Later, when television arrived and I looked at a short film of Freddie, I thought I had done pretty damn well.

The similarities were not lost on my mates. Ian Redpath was the first to start calling me Freddie, a couple of years after I got into the Australian team. By the time I went to England to play in my first Ashes in 1968, Trueman was still around - not as a Test bowler anymore, but he played against us in our tour game against Yorkshire.

Even if I became known as a batsman, I'll remember those days when I tried to be Trueman.

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi. This article was first published in the print version of Cricinfo Magazine

RSS Feeds: Nagraj Gollapudi

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email Feedback Print
Nagraj GollapudiClose
Related Links
Players/Officials: Fred Trueman | Doug Walters

    'Like a ballet dancer'

My XI: Martin Crowe on Mark Waugh's lazy elegance and batsmanship that was easy on eye

    Sea, sun, scandal

Diary: Our correspondent takes in the sights and sounds of Galle and Colombo, and reports on a tampering controversy

    Worst keepers, and honours at Lord's

Ask Steven: Also, most keeping dismissals on debut, seven-for at HQ, and youngest ODI centurions

    From swinging London to Maco country

Diary: Our correspondent walks and buses the streets of the English capital, and then heads for the coast

Cook's Brearley lesson

Jon Hotten: Mike Brearley was an outstanding captain despite his repeated failures with the bat

News | Features Last 7 days

Bhuvneshwar on course for super series

Only 15 times in Test history has a player achieved the double of 300 runs and 20 wickets in a Test series. Going on current form, Bhuvneshwar could well be the 16th

Vijay rediscovers the old Monk

The leave outside off stump has been critical to M Vijay's success since his India comeback last year. Contrary to popular opinion, such patience and self-denial comes naturally to him

Ugly runs but still they swoon

Alastair Cook did not bat like a leading man but the crowd applauded him for simply not failing

Time to pension off the seniors?

If England are going to win nothing, history suggests it might be worth their while to win nothing with kids

Boycott floored by an Indian trundler

When Eknath Solkar got under the skin of Geoff Boycott, leading to a three-year self-imposed exile from Test cricket

News | Features Last 7 days
Sponsored Links

Why not you? Read and learn how!