England 2005 Ashes hero Matthew Hoggard to talk at Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature
It may be 15 years since he helped England beat Australia in a hugely memorable Test series on home soil, but Matthew Hoggard is rekindling his role as an Ashes hero.
The former international swing bowler starred alongside the likes of Andrew Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan as the Aussies were sent packing in a cracking summer of cricket back in 2005.
It was England's first Test series victory over their bitter rivals for 18 years and the glorious triumph earned him and his team-mates MBEs.
Hoggard, who will be telling his sporting tales at the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature on Friday (February 7), went on to be named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2006 and climbed to No 4 in the Test bowling rankings, as well as becoming only the 10th England bowler to reach 200 Test wickets.
He retired in 2013 – not before going past 700 first-class wickets and captaining Leicestershire to glory in the 2011 Friends Life T20 final against Somerset – and admits it took a bit of time to find his "passion and mojo" away from sport.
And so it is fitting ashes are playing their part in the Yorkshireman's new direction as he forges a new career and business – as a barbecue expert.
Hoggard, who appeared in the 2013 series of BBC TV's Celebrity MasterChef won by actor and comedian Ade Edmondson, developed a love for the cooking style during his late teens when he first went out to develop his cricket skills with stints in South Africa.
Refuelling with grub from the braai ignited something inside him and he is now planning on opening his own retail outlet as well as running a barbecue school to pass on top tips.
"I love barbecuing and I want to teach people in the UK how to barbecue properly," said Hoggard, who celebrated his 43rd birthday on New Year's Eve by cooking up a storm for his party guests.
"I want to open people's eyes to what you can do. I've made Yorkshire puddings and baked a cake on a barbecue."
Hoggard, who lives in Leicestershire with wife Sarah and 12-year-old son Ernie, is certainly keeping himself busy.
Not only has he got his culinary venture, he also coaches the Loughborough University women's cricket team, does after-dinner and motivational speaking and does charity work for Loughborough-based children's hospice Rainbows and Chance to Shine, all while currently studying for a sports directorship masters at the University of Salford.
But while the future is definitely looking exciting – not to mention tasty – the summer of 2005 and the famous Ashes win over an Australian side featuring the likes of Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee will forever be a highlight he looks back on.
"I still get thank-yous from people who say that series was the reason they started playing cricket or that it was the best summer of their lives," said Hoggard, who played 67 Tests for England as well as 26 one-day internationals, taking 248 and 32 wickets in the respective formats.
"It seemed to capture the imagination of the nation. We were on the front pages, the middle pages and the back pages of the newspapers and on national TV as well.
"It was just a great time with great camaraderie and relationships in the dressing room."
* Matthew Hoggard will deliver a talk in the Ferguson Lecture Theatre at the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature this Friday (Feb 7) from 7.30pm to 9pm. Suitable for ages 10+. Tickets cost £16 from www.bishopsstortfordcollege.org/. Sponsored by Alexandra Wood Bespoke Tailor.