Freddie Flintoff has broken his silence on the horror Top Gear crash that left him scarred for life and with broken bones.
The Preston-born star was taken to hospital after being hurt while filming for the BBC motoring show at its test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome last December. The 45-year-old as driving at 130mph in an open-topped three-wheeled Morgan Super 3 when it flipped over.
The dad-of-four was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and meant that his face was in direct contact with the ground causing it to scrape across the coarse area. The former Lancashire and England cricketer appeared in public for the first time last month as he joined up with the Three Lions squad for their one-day international series against New Zealand.
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While Freddie has been keeping out of the spotlight since the crash, he made a special effort to join the England Cricket team to help mentor them. In a touching video, posted on Twitter, now called X, he presented cricketer Tom Hartley with his cap for the England Cricket team.
In the heart-warming video, Freddie praise the team that he considers to be family, by saying they will “be there for you in the hardest times of your life”. He added: “It gives me so much pleasure to share what’s going to be a day Tom that you’re going to remember for the rest of your life.
“When you get this cap, this changes your life. It’s one of those things, it’s before and after it.
“This enables you to walk tall and move faster. Play with passion, play with pride, play with belief. “
He continued: “And also part of a family of people. They’ll share the good times with you, share the successes.
“But as I found over the past few months, they’ll be there for you in the hardest times of your life. They will stand next to you.
“So, like the lion on the cap Tom, be brave, be, fearless, be proud and enjoy every minute.”
Freddie, who is no stranger to injuries had to wait 45 minutes before being airlifted to hospital following the crash. And even more worrying, on the back of an investigation, a report found that the car had no airbag, the Mirror reports.
The BBC have since been accused of failing in its duty of care towards Freddie. It seems that Freddie had actually warned the production crew of Top Gear that he had concerns around the safety of driving the vehicle.
And he has now quit the show. A source told The Sun: “Freddie voiced his worries about the safety of the stunt on set on the day of the accident. He questioned whether or not it was OK, given the vehicle and conditions on the track. “
They added: “He was apprehensive before he got behind the wheel and production staff at the track were aware of this. He was obviously used to taking part in these stunts during his time on the show, but alarm bells were ringing.
“It has been openly discussed since the accident by Top Gear employees, who are in doubt whether the show will ever return to screens.”
In March, the BBC issued a statement regarding the accident and apologised to Freddie. The statement read: “(BBC Studios) have sincerely apologised to Freddie and will continue to support him with his recovery.
“Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34 of Top Gear at this time. We understand this will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do, and we’ll make a judgment about how best to continue later this year.
“This has also impacted the production team, who we continue to support. Finally, there will be a health and safety review of the show, in line with our procedures.”
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