Freddie Flintoff has been spotted in public for the first time since he was involved in a high-speed crash while filming for Top Gear last winter. The 45-year-old sustained facial injuries and broken ribs when the car he was driving veered off the road at 130mph at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey.
Flintoff stepped down from his presenting role on Top Gear back in March and has since returned to cricket to help the England team prepare for the upcoming one-day World Cup. He is close friends with managing director Rob Key and was spotted on Friday leading fielding drills at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
The former England all-rounder was sporting a number of visible scars and cuts on his face, while he also appeared to be wearing tape across his nose. He kept a low profile by wearing dark glasses and a bucket hat on the outfield as he put England’s fielders through their paces alongside other members of coaching staff.
Flintoff retired from cricket in 2009 after a hugely successful career, during which he played 79 Tests and over 140 one-day international matches for England. He joined the Top Gear presenting team in 2019, where he worked alongside fellow co-hosts Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness.
The BBC halted production after Flintoff’s brutal crash, with the broadcasting giant confirming in a statement that a decision will be made later this year on whether to continue filming the rest of the series.
“Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34 of Top Gear at this time,” said the BBC. “We understand this will be disappointing for fans, but it is the right thing to do and we’ll make a judgment about how best to continue later this year.”
Flintoff’s teenage son Corey previously claimed that his father was lucky to be alive following the crash, with the whole family being left ‘shocked’ after he was airlifted to hospital. Temperatures had reportedly plummeted below freezing at the test track, where he was reviewing an open-topped three-wheel Morgan Super 3.
“He’s okay, I’m not too sure what happened but he is lucky to be alive,” Corey told the Daily Mail. “It was a pretty nasty crash. It is shocking, we are all shocked but just hope he’s going to be OK.”