THE BOB WILLIS FUND HOSTS 40TH ANNIVERSARY ASHES SCREENING AT THE OLYMPIC STUDIOS

On Wednesday 8th September, The Bob Willis Fund hosted a fabulous fundraising event at the Olympic Studios in Barnes, South West London to honour Bob and raise much-needed funds and awareness for prostate cancer.

40 years on from Headingley 1981 when Bob famously took 8-43, a full house watched From The Ashes – James Erskine’s rousing tale of England’s extraordinary fightback from the brink of defeat against the old enemy, Australia.

Following the screening, the star of the film, Ian Botham (now Lord Sir Ian Botham) was joined on stage by David Gower, Graham Gooch and Paul Allott for a Q&A hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Eleanor Oldroyd. The cricket celebrities recounted stories of how they pulled off the impossible and recounted unusual and funny tales of the match while sharing fond memories of Bob.

The evening concluded with a drinks reception at the Members’ Bar.  Former England cricketer Mark Butcher sang songs by Bob’s musical idol, Bob Dylan, while the guests sampled Botham Wines, including, of course, the 81 Series Shiraz.

Bob was a much loved Founder Member of the Olympic Studios.  He was an avid movie watcher and visited several times a week A huge thanks go to Bob’s friends Ian Botham, David Gower, Graham Gooch, Paul Allott, Mark Butcher and Elly Oldroyd for giving up their valuable time for free to help the cause.

The Bob Willis Fund and Bob’s family are also hugely grateful to Mairead Murray and everyone at Olympic Studios for helping us put together such a wonderful and special event in Bob’s memory.

THE FIRST #BLUEFORBOB DAY RAISES OVER £300,000…AND COUNTING…

Huge thanks to all those who supported the first #BlueForBob day and helped to raise a staggeringly generous amount of money to fund a new diagnostic test for prostate cancer.

By the end of a glorious day in Birmingham we had reached a fantastic total of £254,748 and this has continued to grow with the total now at over £300,000 – and donations still coming in!

We turned Edgbaston blue at the England v Pakistan One-Day International on Tuesday 13th July with fans, players, commentators and staff all wearing blue in celebration of Bob’s life and the world-famous Barmy Army, donning big blue wigs as their nod to the great man.

Fantastic support from Edgbaston, the ECB, and Sky Sports Cricket meant that all day the crowd and those watching at home could celebrate Bob’s life with fantastic footage and tributes, while raising awareness and funds for prostate cancer. The main beneficiary for this year’s efforts will be Prostate Cancer UK supporting a research project based in the UK.

Ben Stokes, fellow Headingley hero and England ODI captain on the day said: “It’s a huge honour to be stepping out for the ODI in memory of Bob Willis. He was a true legend of cricket with the determination and single-mindedness that had the power to turn a game around. I’m proud that we can all support the Bo

The day also included a ceremony inducting Bob Willis into the ICC Hall of Fame.

All at the Bob Willis Fund want to thank everybody for their generous donations. We are also extremely grateful to all the team at Sky Cricket, Edgbaston, the ECB and a number of partners and sponsors for their support, including Royal London and New Balance.

A match-day shirt signed by all players from England and Pakistan can be won through a prize draw launching on Wednesday 21th July – 40 years to the day when Bob made Test match cricket history taking 8 for 43 in the 1981 Ashes Series against Australia at Headingley. Details at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bobwillis-shirts

Sky Cricket are ready to see you #BowlLikeBob

With #BlueForBob day on 13th July just around the corner Sky Sports Cricket want to see your version of Bob’s iconic bowling action.

Take a look below then post your best effort on the #BowlLikeBob hashtag

The Bob Willis Fund is delighted with the news that Bob has been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

The Bob Willis Fund is delighted with the news that Bob has been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

His wife Lauren said “we are incredibly honoured as a family and it is sad that he’s not here to accept it himself.  He deserves to be in such prestigious company; he played 90 Tests for England and took 325 Test wickets.  He worked really hard for those wickets and we are very proud of him.”

Bob’s framed cap and pin badge will be presented to Lauren at Blue for Bob day at Edgbaston on Tuesday 13th July.

Freedom of the City

On Thursday 10th June, Bob’s wife Lauren was awarded the Freedom of the City of London by the Lord Mayor of London William Russell.

The honour was made in recognition of Lauren’s work with Prostate Cancer UK and the setting up of the Bob Willis Fund.

Lauren was joined by Bob’s brother David Willis at the ceremony at Mansion House and dedicated the honour to her late husband.

A Cricketer and a gentleman

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