ANDREW “Freddie” Flintoff is one of England’s greatest Test cricketers – and was instrumental in the unforgettable Ashes series back in 2005.
And now he will take to the football pitch for Soccer Aid, with former England cricket team-mate Kevin Pietersen set to play on the opposite side.
Who is Andrew Flintoff and why is he nicknamed ‘Freddie’?
Andrew Flintoff was born in Preston, Lancashire, and is the son of a factory maintenance worker who captained Dutton Forshaw second XI cricket team.
He performed well academically, gaining nine GCSE’s, but chose to leave school at 16.
Flintoff made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1998, at the age of 20, but at county level he remained extremely inconsistent.
Flintoff earned the nickname “Freddie” from his coach at Lancashire second XI, John Stanworth, due to his surname’s similarity to that of Fred Flintstone.
What were Freddie Flintoff’s greatest England moments?
After an inconsistent start, Flintoff had England fans believing he really could become an all-time great when he hit 142 against South Africa at Lords in 2003.
Then in the 2005 Ashes he was the outstanding performer with ball and bat in England’s famous two-run victory over Australia.
He hit nine sixes in three days (including one that landed in his dad’s lap!) and dismissed Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting in one of the greatest overs ever bowled.
In 2008, against the West Indies, the larger-than-life cricketer hilariously shouted “mind the windows Tino”, before bowling out Tino Best the next ball.
Before retiring in 2009, Flintoff helped England to regain the Ashes with one of his greatest series performances.
In the second test at Lords, Flintoff took five wickets to give England a 1-0 series lead.
He then bowled Ricky Ponting out on the way to victory in the final test at The Oval and a 2-1 series win.
What was the ‘Fredalo’ incident?
After England’s defeat against New Zealand in their opening match of the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, Flintoff and other squad members went out drinking in a nightclub.
The all-rounder then had to be rescued after failing in an attempt to board a pedalo in the Caribbean.
It was later revealed by coach Duncan Fletcher that Flintoff had had a number of previous warnings about his behaviour.
England later went out in the early stages with team-mate Michael Vaughan claiming the attention surrounding the Fredalo incident had resulted in players tensing up.
What has Flintoff done since retiring from cricket and what’s his boxing record?
In 2010 he became a captain on Sky One series A League Of Their Own.
And he has since been guest commentator at a number of global darts events.
In 2014 he came out of retirement briefly to play for Lancashire in the Natwest T20 Blast series, where they narrowly lost in the final to Birmingham Bears.
And a year later he was crowned King of the Jungle in Australia’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!
But perhaps most notable of all was his short-lived boxing career.
On November 30, 2012, Flintoff won one fight against American boxer Richard Dawson in Manchester.
The pair went four rounds before Flintoff won by decision.
What TV shows has Flintoff done?
In 2017, Freddie Flintoff co-presented Cannonball with The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, which was an entertainment show featuring plucky contestants trying their best against a course of water-based challenges.
Each week 24 contestants face challenges in a custom-built water park, including tackling a giant swing and launching themselves cannonball-style at a target.
On May 6, 2018, The Sun exclusively revealed Cannonball had been axed after just one series.
He joined Sky One sports comedy panel show A League of Their Own as a team captain in 2010.
In February 2018, it was announced Flintoff, grime MC Lethal Bizzle and Capital FM presenter Vick Hope would present new Sky One show Carnage, which launched on May 6.
The high-octane show which sees teams of creative engineers, mechanics and drivers from throughout the UK and Ireland transform regular cars into battle-ready vehicles.
Teams are then pitted against each other in a Mad Max-style combat in three vast arenas deep in the desert, with the last car standing crowned the champion.
Freddie said: “Carnage has amazing vehicles designed by some top notch contestants. It’s going to be huge, exciting and intense, let the carnage begin!”
Who is Freddie Flintoff’s wife?
Flintoff married Rachael Wools Flintoff on March 5, 2005, at the Pavilion Road Hotel in Knightsbridge, London.
The couple have three children together, a daughter, Holly, 13, and two sons, Corey, 12, and Rocky, 10.
Flintoff has the names Rachael, Holly, Corey and Rocky tattooed on his left shoulder.
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Was Freddie Flintoff arrested?
The Sun revealed Freddie was arrested on Sunday, May 6, 2018, over an alleged bust-up while out with his family.
The England Ashes star, 40, was taken to a police station in Cheshire just after 2pm and quizzed for several hours.
Flintoff strongly denied any wrongdoing, with his wife Rachael also denying her husband had been in any bother.
Speaking outside their £2.7million home in Altrincham, Gtr Manchester, she said: “He hasn’t been arrested.
“It’s all wild rumours. I’m fine, we’re fine.”