Make a date with Dickie Bird at gallery cafe

cricketing legend Dickie Bird is often seen at a Barnsley art gallery having lunch.

But now anyone who wants to see his portrait need only pay a visit to the newly renovated cafe area of the Cooper Cottage at the Cooper Gallery on Church Street.

The four never-seen-before portraits are by Sheffield-born, London-based artist Lorna May Wadsworth. The retired English international cricket umpire sat for the artist when she returned to Sheffield after finishing her illustration degree at Falmouth College of Art.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

She said she “sought to capture him as the Yorkshire hero who is held in so much affection by so many”. She recalled: “He sat for me at his home in Barnsley and in my mum’s kitchen where my mum made him ham sandwiches on his 70th birthday – and I had a mad panic at the sink with Fairy Liquid after he got paint on his umpire jacket.”

Portraits of Dickie Bird by Lorna May Wadsworth at the Cooper Gallery in Barnsley.

Exhibitions officer Alison Cooper said they captured his personality. She added: “He is a regular at the Cooper Gallery – we have another cafe and he’s often here. He’s positive, he’s cheerful, chatty and likes to talk about cricket – he has a twinkle in his eye.”

The display is part of the artist’s retrospective ‘Gaze’ at the Graves gallery, Sheffield. Afternoon tea is being served at the new cafe from December 16 – bookings only. It officially opens on January 5.