The late, great Bob Willis remembered on #BlueForBob Day and inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

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Michael Atherton, David Lloyd and Ian Ward keep in mind Bob Willis – excellent bowler, iconic motion, caustic pundit and wonderful man

Michael Atherton, David Lloyd and Ian Ward keep in mind Bob Willis – excellent bowler, iconic motion, caustic pundit and wonderful man

The lifetime of the late, nice Bob Willis was remembered at Edgbaston as the bottom turned #BlueForBob to assist battle prostate most cancers.

Willis handed away from prostate most cancers in December 2019 on the age of 70 and Tuesday’s England vs Pakistan ODI aimed to assist the Bob Willis Fund – co-founded by Willis’ spouse Lauren Clark and his brother David – increase funds for and consciousness of prostate most cancers analysis.

To make a donation, go to BobWillisFund.org or textual content TEN, TWENTY or THIRTY to 70820 (texts price £10, £20 or £30 plus your normal community charge).

Lauren Clark, the wife of the late Bob Willis, explains how the Bob Willis Fund was established and how it hopes to help fight prostate cancer

Sky Sports 10:03
Lauren Clark, the spouse of the late Bob Willis, explains how the Bob Willis Fund was established and the way it hopes to assist battle prostate most cancers

Lauren Clark, the spouse of the late Bob Willis, explains how the Bob Willis Fund was established and the way it hopes to assist battle prostate most cancers

On #BlueForBob Day, Willis was formally inducted into the Worldwide Cricket Council’s Corridor of Fame with Lauren accepting Bob’s framed cap and pin badge from his former Sky Sports activities colleague Michael Atherton and his shut pal, lyricist Sir Tim Rice, who can be a patron of the Bob Willis Fund.

Willis took 325 wickets in 90 Checks for England – solely James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Sir Ian Botham have extra for the facet – at a median of 25.20, along with his most memorable spell coming within the Ashes Take a look at at Headingley in July 1981 when he bagged 8-43 to shred Australia.

Michael Atherton and Sir Tim Rice presented Lauren Clark with a framed cap and pin badge as Bob Willis was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame

Michael Atherton and Sir Tim Rice introduced Lauren Clark with a framed cap and pin badge as Bob Willis was inducted into the ICC Corridor of Fame

Bob Willis – demonic bowler, beneficiant man

The quick bowler went on to shred many a participant along with his phrases when he grew to become an acerbic and razor-sharp pundit for Sky Sports activities – however his reducing on-screen persona was far faraway from his genial off-screen one, with Willis a particularly non-public man.

Bob was a caustic pundit - but a genial man

Bob was a caustic pundit – however a genial man

Talking about Willis, Atherton advised Sky Sports activities: “I keep in mind the skilled, the general public and the non-public. He was undoubtedly an amazing quick bowler, and England have not produced too lots of these.

“Again then, it was a really uncommon factor for a quick bowler to play sufficient cricket to take 300 wickets for England with the stresses and strains of county cricket.

“He had this cut up character – demonic quick bowler, caustic pundit however a really heat, beneficiant, non-public, fairly shy man. He would hate all this consideration!

“He was a person of large resilience and character which shone by his cricket. Cricket reveals character and it revealed so much about Bob.”

Bob’s fellow Sky Sports activities analyst and shut pal, David Lloyd, added: “On the 1974 tour of Australia I did not actually know him in any respect however he befriended me and we grew to become nice mates. He taken care of me.

“To play in opposition to him, he was an actual handful when he turned it on. He was bouncy, a menace. Like John Snow, he realised he was a global quick bowler and saved himself at instances to get his optimum in worldwide cricket. He was a gem. He had an amazing, dry wit and was a mate for all times.”

Rice mentioned: “Bob was an exquisite man – I used to be barely in awe of him. He had nice musical style in addition to nice sporting talent. A mixture that I discover irresistible. He was an amazing all-round particular person, a wonderful bloke to be close to.

“He was laconic, had an amazing, laidback sense of humour, and he was a really variety man. As [a pundit], no matter he was saying was to assist the participant, assist English cricket. His coronary heart was at all times in the correct place.”

Edgbaston claps for Bob

A forty five-second applause was held for Bob at Edgbaston – a floor he known as house whereas enjoying for Warwickshire between 1972 and 1984 – to indicate that one man in the UK dies from prostate most cancers each 45 minutes.

One in eight males within the UK can be affected by the illness however, as but, there isn’t a complete nationwide screening programme to focus on how aggressive an individual’s most cancers could also be.

Talking on #BlueForBob Day at Edgbaston, Lauren advised Sky Sports activities: “It feels pretty surreal and I want I did not should do it however we try to make one thing optimistic out of a extremely unhealthy scenario.

“We now have labored actually arduous on this and lots of people behind the scenes have carried out it for nothing. It’s actually superb.”

Rice, who himself suffered with prostate most cancers, added: “Lauren and her group are doing an exquisite quantity of labor in addition to Bob’s brother David. We’re elevating some huge cash and it is an amazing trigger.

“Prostate most cancers is such a possible killer that it can be crucial trusts like Bob’s get the message out and the funding and that we cut back the quantity of people that die due to it.”

Followers attending Edgbaston have been urged to put on #BlueForBob, similar to the Sky Sports activities Cricket commentators and presenters did, with Lloyd, Atherton, Rob Key, Kumar Sangakkara, Zainab Abbas, Ian Ward and Dinesh Karthik decked in gentle blue – additionally the color of Bob’s beloved Manchester Metropolis.

Bob additionally liked Bob Dylan – a lot so the he added Dylan as a center identify by deed ballot in 1965 – and a number of the singer’s music was performed at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

Dylan can be an Honorary Patron of the Bob Willis Fund, saying: “Bob Willis was an amazing sportsman who left too quickly. I am glad to assist hold his flame and trigger alive.”

Headingley spell may by no means have occurred

As talked about, maybe Bob’s best sporting achievement was his eight wickets in opposition to Australia in Leeds 40 years in the past – however Atherton revealed that Bob was not at all times set to play in that exceptional Take a look at, which England gained after following-on.

Atherton mentioned: “Within the earlier recreation at Lord’s, he had flu and when Mike Brearley got here in to take over from Beefy [Sir Ian Botham] as captain, within the preliminary 12 they did not choose Bob. He ultimately obtained into the squad but it surely was nonetheless not sure he was going to play.

“On the morning of the sport, Brears went to the bottom with Bob and mentioned, ‘what steadiness of facet ought to we play right here?’ Bob mentioned 4 seamers when, for Brearley, it was between spinner John Emburey and Willis. A mixture of luck and circumstance ultimately made Bob’s legend.”

Bob took 8-43 as England beat Australia in the 1981 Ashes Test at Headingley

Bob took 8-43 as England beat Australia within the 1981 Ashes Take a look at at Headingley

High Bob Willis stats!

Sky Cricket statistician Benedict Bermange reveals his favorite numbers from Bob’s stellar profession…

– His 55 not outs have been a world file from his retirement till Courtney Walsh went previous him in 2000. Bob is at the moment fourth on the general listing

– He hit the successful runs on his ODI debut – to carry England a one-wicket victory in opposition to the West Indies at Leeds in 1973. Garry Sobers bowled the ultimate over of the match and England wanted 4 to win with one wicket left and Bob on strike. The second ball was hit straight again over the bowler for 2; the subsequent steered to 3rd man for 2 extra and England have been house!

– He bowled 941 no-balls in Take a look at cricket – greater than anybody else. In his day, in fact, no-balls did not go in opposition to the bowler. Had they carried out so, his Take a look at bowling common would have risen from 25.20 to twenty-eight.09!

– Bob bowled the primary over of the Wellington Take a look at in February 1978. It was scored as a maiden to him, but it surely contained two no-balls and eight byes!

– The primary supply he confronted in Take a look at cricket was a hat-trick ball, from Australia’s John Gleeson. He survived it!

– Bob bowled 34 no-balls within the 1981 Edgbaston Take a look at – which stays the Take a look at file for a single match

– In 1971 he gained the County Championship with Surrey, taking 31 wickets in 14 matches. Switching to Warwickshire, he gained the 1972 Championship with them, taking 25 wickets in 9 matches

– He hit one six in his Take a look at profession. That was off Alan Hurst at Adelaide on January 27, 1979. The shot went over backward level!

To make a donation, go to BobWillisFund.org or textual content TEN, TWENTY or THIRTY to 70820 (texts price £10, £20 or £30 plus your normal community charge).

‘Bob Willis: A Cricketer and a Gentleman’ is offered from all good bookshops and may also be ordered on Amazon.



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