The Mirror: Ashes Streaker From 1975 Recalls Hurdling The Wicket
"Ashes streaker from 1975 Michael Angelow recalls hurdling the wicket at Lords - after band tracks him down for music video. Michael was offered parts in porn movies after his famous dash but went back to being a chef on board oil tankers."
Michael Angelow streaks at Lords in 1975 - Photo: PA
It is an iconic picture – a naked man sprints on to the pitch during an Ashes Test at Lords and hurdles the stumps.
Nearly 40 years later the Sunday People has tracked down streaker Michael Angelow, whose boozy youthful stunt has now been immortalised on the cover of a pop album.
We stepped in to help out after Neil Hannon, the singer/songwriter behind 1990s band The Divine Comedy, revealed he needed to find former Merchant Navy chef Michael to star in a video for his latest release.
All songs by Neil’s current band The Duckworth Lewis Method are cricket themed. Even its name is taken from a scoring system used in rain-hit games.
So who better to help sell its second album Sticky Wickets than Michael, who performed his famous naked dash streak when England played Australia at the home of cricket in 1975.
He streaked into the history books as England batted on the fourth day, with the match heading towards a draw.
The 24-year-old seaman – on leave and up for some fun after a few beers – stripped off to win a £20 bet with Australian fans he had been joking with in the stands.
Wearing just his trainers, he raced across the Lords pitch and leapt over the stumps at the Nursery End with a triumphant wave of the fist.
Stuffy MCC members were not amused. And Michael was fined £20 – the exact amount he won from the dare.
Today the man who shocked cricket lives in a smart semi in Luton, Beds.
Michael, now 62, recalled: “The match was pretty boring and there was a bit of banter going on between me and the Australians.
“I’d been drinking but certainly hadn’t had a skinful. I wouldn’t have been able to jump over the stumps if I had.
“I can’t remember much about it, except that England’s Alan Knott was batting at one end.”
Photos of the incident show Knott and Aussie fielders laughing at Michael’s antics. Test Match Special pundit John Arlott was clearly confused and called the pitch invader a “freaker”.
He said: “We have got a freaker down the wicket now. Not very shapely and it is masculine. He is being embraced by a blond policeman and this may well be his last public appearance – but what a splendid one!”
Magistrates found Michael guilty of outraging public decency and warned him: “Moderate your behaviour.”
He recalled: “I remember the JP asked me how much I had won for the bet – and then told me that’s what I’d be fined.
“It wasn’t really seen as being such a big scandal. I went back to watch the match the next day. Nothing was said when I got back on the ship either.
“I don’t think it was seen as anything other than a bit of a joke.
“But it wasn’t something I was going to make a career out of either. Streaker isn’t something you put on your CV.
“I was offered money to do it again at the Grand National and at Wimbledon but I didn’t want to know.
“I also had people offering me parts in porn movies and all sorts of weirdos calling me. But I went back to being a chef on board oil tankers.
“I left the Merchant Navy six years later and have worked as a chef ever since.” Keen sports fan Michael is hoping to get back to Lords next week for England’s second Test of the current Ashes series against Australia.
And while Neil Hannon would love him to repeat the stunt, Michael has no intentions of streaking again.
Neil said: “We’re rather hoping Michael Angelow comes out of the woodwork. We’d definitely have him re-enact his famous leap for our video.”
But as Michael pointed out: “Security is much tighter nowadays. Even if I was crazy enough to do it, I’m sure I wouldn’t get anywhere near the stumps.
“I’d be up for it for a video – why not? But there’s no way I’d run across Lords again and get arrested.”
The streaking craze began in the 1970s but it can be traced back much further.
A man was sent to prison in 1799 after running naked through the streets of London for a wager of ten guineas.
It isn't just sporting events which get hit by naked stage invaders. Photographer Robert Opel, 33, gatecrashed the Oscars naked in 1974.
But in a classic put-down, smooth-talking English actor David Niven told the audience from the stage: “The only laugh that man will ever get is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings.”
Opel was shot dead by armed robbers five years later.
The Mirror/Sunday People - Lewis Panther