HELP US TO HELP LESS PRIVILEGED YOUNG PEOPLE PLAY SPORT
Harold Dennis Dickie Bird is the most famous cricket umpire in the history of the game. Revered across the world from Barnsley to Brisbane to Barbados to Bangalore, he umpired 66 Test Matches, 92 One Day Internationals, three World Cup Finals, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Test between England and Australia in 1977, the Centenary Test between England and Australia in 1980 and the MCC’s Bicentennial Test between England and the Rest of the World in 1987.
In 1977 Dickie was voted Yorkshire Personality of the Year and, on his retirement from international cricket in 1996, he was named Yorkshireman of the Year. He has also received honorary doctorates from Leeds, Huddersfield and Sheffield Hallam Universities, appeared on Desert Island Discs, a Question of Sport and been the subject of This Is Your Life.
But he has never forgotten his roots,
I was born into a miner’s family in the heart of Yorkshire and unfortunately we didn’t have that much money between us
Dickie recently commented.
My dad made sure there was always enough food on the table and he saved and saved to buy me my first pair of football boots and my first cricket bat. Without my dad’s sheer perseverance I don’t think I would have got to where I am today.
He is therefore acutely aware of the tremendous support and enormous sacrifices parents traditionally have to make to ensure their children can participate in sport, particularly when the youngsters grow up in homes with little or no financial security. Wanting to put something back, in March 2004 he set up the Dickie Bird Foundation. Its aim is to help financially disadvantaged young people across the United Kingdom to participate in the sport of their choice by assisting with the costs of equipment, clothing and travel.
It has since assisted numerous boys and girls to follow their aspirations in such diverse sports as cricket, horse racing, ice skating, golfing and athletics. Currently staffed by a small band of committed volunteers, it is the Foundation’s fervent hope that through the grants it provides, more young people will be able to access sport and fulfill their ambitions as sportsmen and women whilst at the same time improving their prospects in life. But it needs your help to continue to do this.
The Dickie Bird Foundation is backed by a number of celebrity patrons including Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Tim Rice, Rt. Hon. Sir John Major, Sir Rodney Walker and Harry Gration.
The Trustees meet every two months, to consider new grant applications and fund raising. The Foundation will consider most forms of fund raising from other clubs or groups, and will where possible try to accommodate all requests for fund rising to the Foundation.
A big misconception is that The Dickie Bird Foundation only offers grants for cricket; The Dickie Bird Foundation considers grants from all recognised sports.