Brave Freddie Flintoff praises England team for being there 'in the hardest times of your life' in touching video | The Sun

FREDDIE Flintoff has praised the England team for being there "in the hardest times of your life" in a touching video.

The cricket hero, 45, suffered broken ribs and facial injuries in a near-fatal 130mph Top Gear horror crash last December.

But after returning to the England fold last month to help coaches, he revealed how his cricket pals helped him through.

A video clip posted yesterday shows Freddie presenting spinner Tom Hartley, 24, with his first cap for his country.

In his speech, Flintoff praised the "family"-like team and said they will "be there for you in the hardest times of your life".

He said: "It gives me so much pleasure to share what's going to be a day Tom that you're going to remember for the rest of your life.

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"When you get this cap, this changes your life.

"It's one of those things, it's before and after it. This enables you to walk tall and move faster.

"Play with passion, play with pride, play with belief. And also part of a family of people.

"They'll share the good times with you, share the successes.

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Brave Freddie Flintoff speaks publicly for first time since horror crash

"But as I found over the past few months, they'll be there for you in the hardest times of your life.

"They will stand next to you. So, like the lion on the cap Tom, be brave, be, fearless, be proud and enjoy every minute."

He is not expected to travel with England to India for cricket's World Cup, starting today.

The cricketing ace had to wait 45 minutes to be airlifted to hospital following his horror smash.

And later reports found that the car did not have an airbag.

The BBC have since been accused of failings in its duty of care towards Flintoff.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Flintoff told Top Gear crew he had safety concerns on the day of the crash.

Senior BBC chiefs were made aware of the telly host's fears as a report into the accident is finalised.

Flintoff has since quit the motoring show.

A source said: "Freddie voiced his worries about the safety of the stunt on set on the day of the accident.

"He questioned whether or not it was OK, given the vehicle and conditions on the track.

"He was apprehensive before he got behind the wheel and production staff at the track were aware of this.

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"He was obviously used to taking part in these stunts during his time on the show, but alarm bells were ringing.

"It has been openly discussed since the accident by Top Gear employees, who are in doubt whether the show will ever return to screens."

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