DICKIE Bird spoke of the honour at officially starting the Yorkshire Marathon yesterday as he paid tribute to the thousands of runners taking part.
The former international cricket umpire, who is famed for his pride in his Yorkshire heritage, said that he hoped that the race would now become an annual fixture on the region’s sporting calendar.
Mr Bird, 80, who was born in Barnsley, said: “As a proud Yorkshireman, it is a tremendous honour to be asked to start the marathon. I knew Jane Tomlinson, and she was a remarkable woman. To have all these people running for so many good causes is an amazing achievement and a very special occasion.”