phillip defreitas cricket coaching leicester

Some of the things they've said about Daffy...

Martin Johnson CBE (England and Leicester Tigers)

"My first encounter with Mr. DeFreitas didn’t leave a lasting impression on me, and I only have him to thank for that. What it did leave me with was a little less confidence in my cricketing ability and a little more respect for the young PAJ DeFreitas.

Daffy was one of a group of County bowlers practicing in the nets against a variety of players from around Leicestershire.

I think they were taking it easy on this lanky village cricketer who fancied himself a bit with his long handled Duncan Fearnley Extra Cover. That was until a particularly lame delivery got driven straight back up the wicket causing the queuing county stars to scatter unceremoniously.

As Daffy came up to bowl next time round I noticed his run up had extended from two paced to around five or six. I have to say the first my senses knew of that delivery was the loud thump as the ball slammed into the nets behind me, and a sudden breeze that had suddenly picked up around nose height"

Eric Clapton CBE (Singer, Songwriter and Composer)

"I first met Phil back in 1986 with David English and Ian Botham. It was in Australia where I was touring with my band. I was immediately taken by his style of play.

He approached the game with an unabashed freedom of spirit, gifted in all departments. He was only twenty years old and had attacked each match without any fear of failure. An absolutely naturally gifted player. If he was a musician he'd probably be able to play all of the instruments, one of those all round talents who can turn their hand to anything"

Vivian Richards (West Indies)

"The perfect opportunity to say how magnificent a player, competitor and human being"

"One of the amazing things about Daffy's longevity is his commitment and passion which he brings, when representing England."

"Why I can say 'mate' is his being of Dominican heritage, gives me the licence to call him mate, as a fellow islander"

Phil Tufnell (England)

"Who would have thought that after turning up for duty on the MCC Staff all those years ago with our carrier bags slung over shoulders, whilst everyone else was smartly turned out in their blazers and ties, that me and you would have managed over 2000 wickets between us"

"I know I have said before, but you were quite an inspiration for me. Once I saw you take your place in the England team in Australia alongside the likes of Botham, Lamb and Gower, I thought to myself, I want a bit of that"

"Well done mate for all these fantastic years that you have served Lancashire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and England extremely well"

Ian Botham (Ashes)

"The cares of captaincy mean Daffy has to show willing in the stretches but he had a good tutor in warming up with a cup of tea, a fag and the Racing Post"

Daffy fell in love with the game at an early age and that has never waned. I'm happy if people display their emotions on the field, because at least it shows they care, and Daffy is one of the characters in the County game"

Robin Smith (England)

"One of the best all rounders England has produced over the past 20 years"

"Daffy plays the game hard, but I've always looked forward to the close of play when he's been willing to share a beer with the opposition where I've enjoyed his wicked sense of humor and great company"

Gary Lineker (England & Leicester City)

"Of all the many astonishing things about Mr. DeFreitas, perhaps the most amazing is that he is still playing cricket. He was playing for England when I was still playing football. How old does that make him?"

"Daffy has always been one of the game's real characters"

Alan Lamb (Ashes)

"The famous last over that I batted with him when we got 18 off the last over to win the night game against Australia in Sydney. Actually it was over forty runs off 3 overs.

Unfortunately, I could not hit the ball off the square when Daffs came to me with the last over and said try this bat - it may help.

It sure did and Bruce Reid dissapeared for 18 runs off the last over with the help of Daffy and won"

Chris Board (Ashes)

"For a man who has played 44 Tests and103 One-Day Internationals, he doesn't look too bad. That's 17,918 overs, over 1 million balls boweled in all competitions, (that doesn't include no-balls) plus all the runs scored"

"He is a fine competitor. Outstanding with both bat and ball, and even now, you take a single to him at your peril!!"

Nick Owen (Media)

"I got to know Daffy about fourteen years ago, when he joined Derbyshire on the third leg of his county championship tour of the Midlands and North West.

He joined the club with a reputation...supreme talent, but a bit of a firebrand when things didn't suit. Well, he certainly made his mark, not just as a brilliant cricketer, but as a master wind-up merchant. That quiet man image behind the easy smile concealed a devilish prankster.

He once stuffed a couple of kippers in the engine of my car. My garage stunk like Billingsgate on a very bad day for weeks afterwards. He is just plain daft"

"My highlight is probably his sensational 88 off 95 balls in a test against Australia in Adelaide back in January 1995"

"Cricket is never dull when Daffy's around, whether he's batting or bowling"