We’re thrilled to welcome legendary cricket umpire and commentator Dickie Bird OBE as our charity ambassador.

What’s more, Dickie has donated £30,000 of his own money towards our Keeping The Beat fund for a new heart theatre.

His heartfelt engagement with young patients and their families during ward visits has been inspiring to see, not to mention staff – it gives everyone a huge boost.

Dickie told us:

To see these youngsters, it’s given me a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.

Sick babies having surgery at that tender age, who are suffering – I can’t think of a better cause.

I’m delighted to help Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit with my donation, and feel privileged to become their ambassador.

Here’s some key facts about Dickie’s career to date:

  • Born in 1933 in Barnsley
  • Played for Yorkshire and Leicestershire between 1956 and 1964, scoring 3,314 runs in 94 matches
  • Made his debut as a Test Umpire in July 1973, overseeing England v New Zealand at Headingley
  • Umpired 92 One-Day Internationals and 3 World Cup Finals
  • Retired from umpiring in 1996 after officiating 66 Test matches
  • Received an MBE in 1986 and awarded OBE for services to the sport and to charity in 2011
  • Has received 4 doctorates from Universities including Leeds, Huddersfield, Sheffield Hallam and Bradford
  • Appointed president of Yorkshire County Cricket Club 2014-2015
  • Was Voted Yorkshireman of the Year at the Yorkshire Awards in 1996, and won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the same event earlier this year

We’re sure Dickie’s generous donation, and influence in our region as ambassador, will be felt by generations to come.