Freddie Flintoff says turning down private school was 'the best decision I ever made'

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Freddie Flintoff tries to assemble a working class cricket team in three-part documentary Field of Dreams. (BBC)
Freddie Flintoff tries to assemble a working class cricket team in three-part documentary Field of Dreams. (BBC)

Freddie Flintoff has said he stands by his decision to snub a private school scholarship to go to a comprehensive.

In a new BBC documentary entitled Freddie Flintoff's Field of Dreams, the former England cricketer heads back to his hometown of Preston in the hope of assembling a team of working class children.

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Flintoff told the Mirror he was offered numerous scholarships as a teenager in the midst of his burgeoning cricket career, but always said no.

"I didn’t want to be the poor kid at a posh school. It was the best decision I ever made. It was such a good grounding, I wouldn’t swap it," said the 44-year-old star.

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Flintoff said he believes that cricket is an elitist sport, pointing to the number of current players who were privately educated.

He added: "I won the lottery of life with my family. We didn’t have much, but for love and support, we couldn’t have had more."

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In the documentary, Flintoff comes up against the perception among the working class kids he meets that cricket is a posh and boring sport.

As part of the show, the Top Gear presenter discusses how he was bullied at his comprehensive school in Preston for choosing to pursue cricket, comparing it to the film Billy Elliot.

Freddie Flintoff faced bullying at his Lancashire school for choosing to pursue cricket. (Getty)
Freddie Flintoff faced bullying at his Lancashire school for choosing to pursue cricket. (Getty)

He said: "At both the schools I went to, cricket was just not on the radar. I got so much stick for playing cricket, bullied even.

"It was almost like Billy Elliot, except he had it easier being a ballet dancer."

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Flintoff has four children with his wife Rachael, to whom he has been married since 2005.

Freddie Flintoff's Field of Dreams is set to air in three parts over the coming weeks, with episode one airing on BBC One at 8pm on 5 July.

Watch: Freddie Flintoff attempts "Wall of Death" stunt on Top Gear

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