Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff was keeping his face covered as recently as six weeks ago, the ex-cricketer’s former teammate has revealed.
Flintoff, 45, was seen out in public for the first time over the weekend as he supported the England men’s cricket team as they took on New Zealand in Cardiff, Wales.
According to reports, Flintoff’s open-topped three-wheel Morgan Super 3 car flipped and slid along the track when he was driving at high speed.
Speaking on TalkSport, ex-England cricketer Steve Harmison, 44, shared some insight into his friend’s recovery.
“It’s been tough, you’ve seen the pictures of him with a smile on his face but I saw him about six weeks ago when my son Charlie and his son, Rocky played against each other and it was great to see him,” he said.
“Obviously I roomed with Andrew for the best part of 15 years and we’d gone through all our careers together and so to see our two sons playing each other, Northumberland against Lancashire, it was fantastic.
“I got to see him then but at that time he covered his face up when he walked around – believe it or not, he was training a guide dog, which I’m sure is going better now than it was because he tripped over around three times on his way around the field!”
He continued: “He was on great form, but to see him around the England group, the main team, was fantastic. This England team are a good bunch and not only are they great cricketers, but they’re great ambassadors.”
Flintoff is a close friend of England managing director Rob Key and is set to be with the squad in a mentoring role for the remainder of their four-match series. The role is reportedly unpaid.
“Freddie was always brilliant in the dressing room and so to have Andrew in the dressing room with them and feeling comfortable and letting him get his feet under the table because they’ll be in for a show,” Harmison said.
Flintoff was reportedly filming a car review at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome, home of the Top Gear test track, when the incident happened.
At the time, his son Corey, 16, said that his dad was “OK”, adding: “I’m not too sure what happened, but he is lucky to be alive.”
In a statement given at the time, the corporation said: “Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34.
“We have sincerely apologised to Freddie and will continue to support him with his recovery. We understand this [halting the show] will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do, and we’ll make a judgement about how best to continue later this year.”
Flintoff – who retired from professional cricket in 2009 – presented Top Gear for three years before the crash. He joined the show alongside Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.