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Thread: RIP Bob Willis

  1. #1

    RIP Bob Willis

    Bob Willis will be known to many of the more recent recruits to the game of cricket as a rather grumpy and truculent broadcaster, never one to hide his feelings, especially on the shortcomings of England cricket.

    Willis, who appeared on the scorecards as R.G.D. Willis (his team-mates all seemed to have two middle names, so Willis anointed himself an extra one with Dylan, to keep up appearances), had earned the right to offer criticism, having come back from potentially career-ending knee injuries to play an equal part to Ian Botham in the rout of Australia in the legendary Ashes Test at Headingley, a match in which more than one Australian had a cheeky flutter on Australia to lose at something like 500-1 (I haven't looked that up, feel free to correct me) when England were forced to follow on. Botham's 149 and Willis's 8-43 have become part of English cricket legend, an incredible performance from two men on the verge of being dropped.

    Willis was in "the zone", barely acknowledging the congratulations of his team-mates as he trudged back to his mark and came hurtling back with his trademark run, the ball held behind his back, ready to humiliate another hapless batsman.

    Botham and Willis, Headingley 1981. Right up there in English cricket folklore. RIP, Bob.
    Although no trees were harmed during the creation of this post, a large number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Seeing it on the news just now brought back loads of memories of that amazing summer of cricket.
    He really suffered physically to do what he did.


  3. #3
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    SE England
    Thats a shame, couldn't have been too old.

    RIP Bob.

    My Speedmaster website:

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    Thats a shame, couldn't have been too old.

    RIP Bob.
    70, according to the BBC news. Died after a "long illness", hasn't looked too good for some time.

    Guaranteed his place in cricket history.
    Although no trees were harmed during the creation of this post, a large number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    That was a magical match from the two concerned and we have had to wait nearly 40 years to experience similar. Great bowler.

  6. #6
    I remember watching the 8-43 in 1981 live on the tele, one of those sporting moments that springs someone into sporting immortality. A great bowler and a very good pundit.

    RIP Bob

  7. #7
    Master Skier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cheltenham, UK
    I can remember watching this live and being dumbstruck. Often referred to as 'Botham's Ashes' but Bob Willis was a man possessed on this day. Enjoy it again. RIP Bob Willis.

  8. #8
    Master ~dadam02~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Blog Entries
    Noooooooo, massive fan, the Ashes will never be the same without a good dose of The Ashes Debate. Gutted, RIP.

  9. #9
    Very sad news.

    Bob Willlis, Ian Botham, Daved Gower and ll from that late 70's-early 80's era gave me my huge love of cricket.

    Thank you for the great memories Bob r.i.p

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Out of the EU soon
    Remember watching Headingley 1981 live on TV too as a 13 year old.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Very sad. It does beg the question that in an age when people get Knighthoods for even winning at tiddlywinks how come Bob Willis was not Knighted for his services to cricket? I am not a fan of the honours list, but just for that Leeds Test wow! Paul Collingwood got an MBE or OBE for playing only in the final Test of the 2005 Ashes winning series and scoring a 4!!!.

  12. #12
    He was looking a bit frail over the summer but still continued to work for Sky Sports with his punditry. One of England's legendary fast bowlers, he was outstanding. RIP Bob, cricket is poorer with his passing.

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