Andrew Flintoff, the man who, for the last eleven years, has been at the forefront of English cricket, has this week called time on his wonderful career after he claimed it was starting to interfere with his drinking.
In an 11-year Test career, the Lancashire all-rounder, 32, won 79 caps for England, scoring 3,645 runs at an average of 31.77, and taking 226 wickets at an average of 32.78, but it is with a pint glass in his hand that he will most-fondly remembered by fans, regularly drinking the opposition and England colleagues under the table at an average of 15.16 pints of anything you care to mention.
And the escapades! Who amongst the cricketing fraternity could forget when Flintoff was stripped of the England vice-captaincy and suspended, after a late-night incident during which he fell off a pedalo after another drinking session?
Or the final over of the August 2009 Test against Australia at The Oval when Flintoff, needing to bowl the last two Aussie batsman out to regain the Ashes for England, called for drinks, and was promptly served with a refresshing pint of Boddingtons and a Meat and Tatie Pie. Such wonderful memories!
Flintoff told me earlier:
"I thought I might have another couple of years left in me at Lancashire, but, to be perfectly honest, I can't be arsed. I've found that, the longer I spend out in the middle, the less time I get in the pub, and you have to get your priorities right. Er, fancy a pint?"