Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ashes Team Toast Win but Freddie Pulls Stumps Early; BARMY DAY CRICKET FANS CELEBRATE ENGLAND'S VICTORY OVER AUSTRALIA IN FINAL TEST

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ashes Team Toast Win but Freddie Pulls Stumps Early; BARMY DAY CRICKET FANS CELEBRATE ENGLAND'S VICTORY OVER AUSTRALIA IN FINAL TEST

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Dominiczak and Karen Attwood

THE last time England won the Ashes, Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff drank. And drank. And drank. Then he drank some more in the course of a now famous 24-hour celebratory bender.

Four years on and four years older and perhaps wiser, he was tucked up in bed by 1am. "I am going to bed. I'm too old for this now," the 31-year-old said as he clambered into the lift at the team hotel and headed for his room.

All he had managed was a mere seven hours of boozing after a victory at the Oval that had one tabloid newspaper today demanding he be knighted for his cricketing achievements.

By contrast, Stuart Broad showed just why he is being touted as Freddie's heir apparent as the golden boy of English cricket. Broad, 23, who was named man of the match in the deciding game of the series, only stopped partying at 3am because his girlfriend finally convinced him it was time for bed. Not a bad effort but no match for Flintoff in his heyday.

The players began their celebrations at the Oval before finally leaving the ground at 11pm. They then headed in a convoy of taxis to the Grange City Hotel, where they occupied the penthouse overlooking Tower Bridge.

Hotel staff unveiled huge flags welcoming the "Ashes Winners" and gave them a standing ovation.

Still wearing their cricket whites and spiked shoes, the team posed for pictures in the lobby with fans and joined family and friends in the hotel bar for drinks before being ushered up to the 12th floor penthouse.

A source at the hotel said: "The team were having a private celebration and we had to throw a lot of people out of the building who shouldn't have been there. The team seemed to have a fan-tastitime though. "

The Australians retired to the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, having spent the evening with the victors at the Oval. They then went on to Boujis until 2am. …

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