While England plays Pakistan in its final ODI on Tuesday, Edgbaston will turn #BlueForBob to honour the late, great Bob Willis and raise awareness of prostate cancer.
The legendary English cricketer, who took 325 Test wickets, eight of them in the iconic 1981 Ashes spell at Headingley, died of prostate cancer in December 2019 at the age of 70 after a long battle. He was also a revered Sky Sports pundit.
To show their support for The Bob Willis Fund, which was founded by Bob’s wife Lauren Clark and his brother David Willis, fans are encouraged to wear blue clothing to Tuesday’s match. The fund aims to support prostate cancer research, hopefully resulting in the establishment of a national program that will save lives through accurate, accessible screening for the disease.
There is currently no comprehensive national screening programme designed to highlight a person’s cancer’s level of aggressiveness for one in eight men in the UK who have prostate cancer.
Lauren told Sky Sports: “A PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test is a blood test designed to give an indication if there is a problem with your prostate. It works for lots of men and is the best we have so far – but it isn’t good enough.
“Pretty much as soon as Bob died, I was very keen to get involved with Prostate Cancer UK and try and create a legacy in Bob’s name. We decided to set up the Bob Willis Fund. We thought it was a really good fit – Bob, the No 1 cancer in the UK and cricket. There are a lot of cricket fans who could be suffering from prostate cancer.”
The former Warwickshire cricketer – who lived in Edgbaston between 1972 and 1984 – will also be inducted into the, with Lauren being presented with his framed cap and pin badge. The main beneficiary of this year’s fundraising effort will be Prostate Cancer UK.