Freddie glad landing light stays on


Published: Saturday 7th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff says one of the good things about having children is that the landing light stays on – because, at 37, he is still afraid of the dark.

The 6ft 4in, 16-and-a-half stone athlete (known to all as Freddie) told The Daily Telegraph of his battles with bulimia and depression.

He said: “I had this thing as a kid. I watched a bad film and after that I couldn’t go in a dark room. I was sleepwalking and having nightmares.

“It’s funny, things happen as a kid and you carry them through in later life.”

Having his wife Rachael beside him has soothed his anxiety. “I was actually chatting to my missus about it the other day and she said, ‘I think you’re all right now.’ Because we’ve got kids, we’ll have the landing light on, so it’s not too bad. I’m conquering it slowly. But it’s really strange. I’ve frozen a couple of times in the dark.”

Flintoff has a daughter aged 10 and sons aged eight and six.

Being mocked in the media in his early 20s for allegedly being fat contributed partly to his bulimia, he said.

“It’s one of those things where you think you’ll just stop doing it, but it’s not as easy as that. I wasn’t quite sure what or who I was.”

He kept it a secret until his wife found out and helped him beat it in his mid 20s. “She’s helped with everything,” he said.

Flintoff says his brief career in heavyweight boxing was “horrible”.

“I loved the training for the fitness side of it. I hated sparring. Every day you know you’re going to fight someone who’s better than you, who’s going to punch you in the head. I didn’t particularly like hitting people, which was a problem.”

He beat his American opponent on points in his only professional bout, in front of 10,000 fans at the Manchester Arena.

Having played cricket through a debilitating series of injuries and become accustomed to playing in pain, he wanted to see how far he could push himself as a boxer.

“I ended up quite liking being hit. It was a really strange experience. I’m glad I did it but it was never going to go anywhere.”

Having retired from cricket in 2010, he made a county cricket comeback last summer in 20-overs-a-side matches, and took part recently in Australia’s Big Bash.

He loved being involved, but was frustrated not to be able to bowl as fast as in the past. He is now unsure whether he will play professionally again, the article says.

“I’m never satisfied with anything I’ve done professionally,” he said. “I never will be. And I don’t think that’s bad, because you’re always striving to get better.”

Published: Saturday 7th February 2015 by The News Editor

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