Freddie's batty about charity

PUBLISHED: 11:07 05 May 2006 | UPDATED: 21:51 28 May 2010

Freddie Flintoff with the Asda potato mascot

Freddie Flintoff with the Asda potato mascot

HE is more used to throwing a cricket ball at speeds of 80mph, but on Tuesday Andrew Freddie Flintoff swapped it for a rather different round object - a potato. And although the England cricketer admitted some of the wicket keepers in the past had been

Freddie meets Fenmarc managing director Mark Harrod

HE is more used to throwing a cricket ball at speeds of 80mph, but on Tuesday Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff swapped it for a rather different round object - a potato.

And although the England cricketer admitted some of the wicket keepers in the past had been burly fellows - it was his first time he had experienced being marked by a large vegetable.

However, it was all for a good cause as Mr Flintoff was visiting the Fenmarc factory in March for a special charity event.

Generous boss Mark Harrod had forked out a staggering £12,000 at a charity auction to win the prize of having one of the world's greatest cricketers's spend a day at his company.

Freddie on his visit to March Town cricket ground

Mr Harrod, who admitted he was a big cricket fan, said he had put in the bid because he wanted to help the raise money for the breast cancer charity Tickled Pink and also give his colleagues a treat for the day.

He said he had been at the auction which had been organised by Asda, for which Fenmarc is one of the main vegetable suppliers.

"We did get carried away at the auction," he said, "and the next day we realised we had spent a little bit more than we had planned for, but it was for charity, so we can feel okay about it."

All of the 1,000 employees at the company had the chance to buy a raffle ticket, and the first 50 pulled out of the hat were able to enjoy the day with Mr Flintoff.

His day's visit included a champagne buffet lunch and reception followed by a question-and-answer session.

Mr Flintoff then headed off to the town's cricket club where he fired off a number of balls, which had been raffled to staff. The ball which travelled the furthest meant the lucky winner got to keep the bat Mr Flintoff used for the fun event.

He then also had to throw a potato across the field as part of another competition, watched by the 50 employees and the Asda potato mascot Pete.

Mr Flintoff said: "It has been a very different day for me I've visited a vegetable packing plant and it's the first time I've had to throw a potato on a cricket ground.

"I've had some big wicket keepers in the past, but not as yet a potato so it's all new ground for me."

He also said he was looking forward to England's next game against Sri Lanka and although there was still the Ashes title later in the year, he still had a lot more cricket to play before that.

Staff at the factory, said there had been a real buzz after it was revealed Mr Flintoff would be visiting the site, and most agreed they had the best boss in the world, for organising it for them.

About £15,000 was raised for the charity from the day's event.

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