Matt Hancock Once Got Frostbite While Thinking He Was Breaking A World Record

by : Charlie Cocksedge on :
Matt Hancock Once Got Frostbite While Thinking He Was Breaking A World RecordMatt Hancock/Facebook/PA Images

As Matt Hancock continues to make headlines amid his recent resignation as health secretary, internet users are sharing some of his funniest, most Alan Partridge-esque stories.

There’s the time he trained as a jockey for a charity event, for example, saying in 2012, ‘I have long thought that taking part in a cavalry charge would be the most exhilarating thing possible.’ You only need to picture Jennie Gresham smiling awkwardly next to him and we’re suddenly on the set of This Time, or in the studio at North Norfolk Digital with Sidekick Simon having some ‘great banter’.


For the charity race, Hancock even committed to losing 20lbs over a 10-week training regime, adding, ‘I don’t know if I’ll be more stretched by the prospect of shedding 20 pounds or by learning how to handle a racehorse, but I’ll be putting in a lot of hard work over the next 10 weeks to make sure I do both.’ I take it Toblerones were off the menu, in that case.

However, it’s a cricket game in the North Pole that has got a lot of people talking, check it out:


Hancock uploaded the video to Facebook in 2016, though it was actually filmed in 2005, when he was a 26-year-old budding banker.


The expedition, with then-28-year-old engineer Matt Coates, was designed to gather data on climate change as they trekked across previously unexplored areas of the Arctic, ESPN’s Cricinfo reported at the time.

During the trip, Hancock and Coates evidently found time for a spot of cricket, in what they believed was ‘the most northerly game of cricket ever recorded’. In the video, Hancock is the one bowling.

Writing about the trip in 2012, for Total Politics, Hancock said:


Four of my fingers were solid; the frozen stumps rang out as I tapped them against my metal water can.

You don’t lose fingers to frostbite unless you thaw them out and refreeze them. So to save my fingers, the only option was to call in support and the next day a rescue plane was summoned.

While we waited, we made stumps of our ski-poles and played the most northerly game of cricket in history. I couldn’t hold the ball too well, so after scoring a couple of runs batting first, you can imagine my relief when I bowled my teammate for a duck.

Sadly, it’s not clear whether Hancock holds the official world record, however, as The Silly Mid Off points of a number of other matches have also taken place at the north pole.


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Still, good news about the chocolate oranges.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Life, Matt Hancock, MP, world record


ESPN and 1 other
  1. ESPN

    Cricket at the North Pole

  2. Total Politics

    'Four of my fingers were solid' Matthew Hancock MP