Dickie Bird hands £30,000 gift to heart charity and takes up ambassador role

Dickie Bird on the ward at Leeds
Dickie Bird on the ward at Leeds
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The legendary Yorkshire cricket umpire Dickie Bird has agreed to become an ambassador for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, after donating £30,000 to the charity.

Mr Bird, who umpired 92 one-day internationals and three World Cup finals, said he had been moved to act after visiting patients and their families earlier in the ear.

The charity supports children and adults throughout the region who were born with congenital heart defects in our region. They are treated at Leeds General Infirmary.

Its chief executive, Sharon Coyle, said: “We are beyond thrilled that Dickie Bird, a true Yorkshireman and sporting icon, is becoming our ambassador.

“Dickie visited the children’s cardiac ward earlier in the year, and his heartfelt engagement with young patients and their families was inspiring to see - it gave them a huge boost.”

Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird, who was born in Barnsley and played for Yorkshire and Leicestershire between 1956 and 1964, has become an author and media celebrity since his retirement from the sport in 1996.

He said: “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.”

The fund, which will mark its 30th anniversary as a charity next year, played host to Mr Bird at the children’s cardiac facility in Leeds yesterday, where he met patients and their families.