Legendary cricketer and former English captain passed away at the age of 70 after a prolonged illness on Wednesday, December 4. Having been the central figure in the English team, Willis played 90 Test matches and 64 one day internationals for England in his 13-year career. Apart from being one of the greatest cricketers, Willis was an acerbic commentator. He went on to enjoy a long career in broadcasting after his retirement in 1984. Willis died surrounded by his family on Wednesday.
"We are heartbroken to lose our beloved Bob, who was an incredible husband, father, brother and grandfather. He made a huge impact on everybody he knew and we will miss him terribly," his family said.
We're very sad to hear of the passing of MCC Honorary Life Member, Bob Willis.— Lord's Cricket Ground (@HomeOfCricket) December 4, 2019
A Lord's legend & former England captain whose name is on the Honours Boards three times.
Our thoughts are with his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/KgyQbHdYqq
Willis was best known for the 1981 Headingley Test match between England and Australia, where he picked up 8-43 in a remarkable spell which saw his side win one of the most significant matches of all times. Finishing his career with, Willis had 325 wickets in Test cricket, which to this day puts him fourth on the all-time list of England wicket-takers behind James Anderson, Ian Botham, and Stuart Broad.
Taking to Twitter, people penned their heartiest condolences, remarking Willis as one of the greatest cricketers.
Saddened to hear that Bob Willis has died. One of our greatest fast bowlers. Met him on many occasions and he was always great company with a sense of humour that was as sharp as his bowling. #RIPBob— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 4, 2019
Oh no, not Bob Willis... what joy he gave, and what a marvellous man. That 8 for 43. Used to lunch with him occasionally to talk cricket, Wagner and Bob Dylan, his three great passions.— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) December 4, 2019