Former cricket umpire Dickie Bird broke down in tears as he opened up about his final “goodbye” to Sir Michael after his death at the age of 88.
His family confirmed the news in a statement yesterday (August 17), saying: “After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family.
“The family request that they are given privacy and time to grieve.”
Sir Michael Parkinson has died aged 88
Cricket star Dickie Bird only spoke to Sir Michael Parkinson the day before his death
He explained: “I was completely shocked because I only spoke to him yesterday.
“We had a long chat yesterday. I know he hasn’t been well, he hasn’t been well at all and his voice yesterday, it didn’t sound as if it was strong.
“It was a weak voice I heard and I knew then that there was something wrong with him.”
Dickie went on to say how the pair said “goodbye” during a very emotional moment.
“I spoke to him yesterday, we had tears in our eyes and we said goodbye to each other, as if we had this feeling we wouldn’t see each other again.”
An emotional Dickie Bird recounts his final conversation with Sir Michael Parkinson ⬇️https://t.co/SbJtwL7HTp
📺 Sky 501 pic.twitter.com/l2MgVwZr14
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 17, 2023
“We cracked a few jokes together, we had a few tears in our eyes and we said goodbye, goodbye to each other at the end of the phone call as if we had this feeling that we wouldn’t see each other again and we said goodbye and that was it.”
Dickie took a few moments during the interview before adding: “I’ve known Michael for 74 years now and he’s been my close friend, not only my close friend but my very very special friend.
“It was so sad when I heard the news this morning.
“I slumped in my chair and I shed a few tears.”
Both Dickie and Sir Michael were sons of coal miners who played on the same cricket team when they were younger.