Dickie Bird prefers to look to future as he signs books in Northampton today

Dickie Bird signs his new book at the County Ground
Dickie Bird signs his new book at the County Ground

National treasure Dickie Bird said he wishes more people would ask him about his favourite young cricketers, as he signed copies of his book in Northampton today.

The former test umpire said he is revelling in his role as president of Yorkshire, who have been playing at the County Ground today.

But he said he would rather talk about the future than what he has left behind.

Speaking to the Chron he said: “I don’t like it so much when people want to know whether I miss it.

“It was a huge part of my life - I was a test umpire alone for 25 years - and it leaves a big hole.

“I prefer to concentrate on the youngsters and I love talking about who’s up and coming. Northamptonshire have young David Willey who can do everything, and he’s one of the ones who will do well for England.

“Chatting about how the likes of him will progress is what I love.”

Bird, who was a first class cricketer himself - for Yorkshire and Leicestershire - was signing copies of his updated book 80 Not Out in the County Ground shop today.

In it he mentions his stroke, which he says had more than a physical effect on him.

He said: “I don’t know why but you end up feeling very emotional, at the slightest thing I get a lump in my throat.

“The stroke does something to you that isn’t physical and you have to force yourself to go out and do things.

“That’s why being president has been so good for me. It’s an honour to represent Yorkshire and I get to travel round and meet old friends.

“I’ve not been to the County Ground in years so I’m hoping to see Allan Lamb and a few others.

“The danger for people like me who’ve suffered a stroke is that you never get out of your armchair. I’d like to say to people who’ve had a stroke: you’ve got to make the effort and enjoy life.

“I realised that and I’m having a wonderful time.”