The ECB has decided to go blue at Edgbaston for the ODI between England and Pakistan on the 13th of July to honour the legendary Bob Willis who died of prostate cancer in December 2019. Willis was one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of Test cricket and picked 325 wickets in 90 Tests for England at an average of 25.2.
Willis’ Test career ran for a little more than 13 years between 1971 and 1984 and is widely regarded as one of England’s greatest fast bowlers in history. The #BlueForBob day will be a fitting tribute to the iconic pacer and will raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.
‘Hopefully they’ll be allowed to have lots of fans in, they’ll all wear blue, and we’ll raise a lot of money. Prostate cancer is the No 1 diagnosed cancer in the UK now, ahead of breast cancer, but I feel a lot of people don’t know what a prostate is. They certainly don’t think it’s something that can kill you," said Lauren Clark - the wife of Willis.
Clark along with the brother of her husband, David Willis, have launched the Bob Willis Fund with the aim of raising and spreading awareness of the cancer and improving its detection and diagnosis.
The patron of the Fund is Bob Dylan, the legendary American singer-songwriter who was Willis’s biggest idol.
“Bob Willis was a great sportsman who left too soon. I’m happy to help keep his flame and cause alive," quoted Dylan.
There have been similar campaigns and initiatives in the recent past all around the world. The SCG turns pink each year in memory of Jane McGrath, the former wife of Australian Glenn McGrath and raise money and spread awareness for breast cancer.
The Mecca of cricket - Lord’s turned red in 2019 to collect funds for the Ruth Strauss Foundation. Ruth - the wife of Andrew Strauss had died of a rare form of lung cancer in 2018.