Former England cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff was back in Newtownabbey at the weekend as part of a ‘frying’ visit to Northern Ireland.
But the ex-fast bowler turned TV presenter wasn’t in the borough to play cricket. These days he’s swapped the bat for batter, travelling the country in a fish and chip van.
The 36-year-old has been touring around the UK and Ireland with companion Rob Penn as part of a Sky 1 TV programme, Flintoff: Lord of the Fries.
The former all-rounder was in Monkstown on Saturday cooking up fish, chips and mushy peas for hungry fighters at Monkstown Amateur Boxing Club.
Flintoff trained at the Cashel Drive club for a one-off professional boxing bout as part of a previous TV series, From Lord’s to the Ring.
During his latest visit to the estate, he served up grub to around 100 young people from the club’s Big Lottery-funded Kid Gloves programme.
“It was a fantastic day,” said project manager Paul Johnston. “He had said to the producers of the show that he wanted to film some of it here because of his affiliation with the club, so it was great to see him back. The kids loved it and everyone was really happy to see him.”
While he did some sparring and pad work with Commonwealth Games boxer Steven Ward and former British welterweight champion Neil Sinclair, Flintoff didn’t take a battering.
He was later joined at the club by world title challenger Carl Frampton as he gave the young boxers on the Kid Gloves programme some top training tips.