Bob Willis Fund backed by his hero Bob Dylan, along with sport and entertainment personalities
Lauren Clark, Bob Willis' wife: "We can never accept Bob was taken so young. His loss is devastating. One man dies of prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK." Help raise awareness by imitating Willis' iconic action and sharing it using the hashtag #BowllikeBob
Last Updated: 08/07/21 6:21pm
Stars from sport and entertainment are teaming up to support a new charity in memory of the legendary England cricketer Bob Willis.
His hero Bob Dylan is among those backing The Bob Willis Fund which aims to raise awareness and money for research into the better detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Willis, the hero of Headingley 1981 and an opinionated pundit for Sky Sports, died in December 2019, aged 70.
Welcome to The Bob Willis Fund 👋— The Bob Willis Fund (@bobwillisfund) May 20, 2021
Join us in celebrating the life of cricket legend, Bob Willis, by raising money and awareness for better prostate cancer research and diagnosis.
Together, we can beat prostate cancer. https://t.co/HJB2CCenFh pic.twitter.com/0GkgQO1PKJ
His wife Lauren Clark and brother David Willis have launched the fund, and she said: "We can never accept Bob was taken so young. His loss is devastating. One man dies of prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK.
"We knew we had to use Bob's legacy to try and prevent other families from suffering like we are."
Willis added Dylan as his middle name when he was 16 and loved the American singer-songwriter after seeing him in concert in 1965.
Dylan has agreed to become the fund's honorary patron and said: "Bob Willis was a great sportsman who left too soon.
"I'm happy to help keep his flame and cause alive."
Lyricist Sir Tim Rice, a friend of pace bowler and a huge cricket fan, is also a patron, and its ambassadors include former Prime Minister Sir John Major, Sir Ian Botham, Michael Atherton, David Lloyd and Michael Holding.
Sir Tim said: "My family have been seriously affected by prostate cancer, so I appreciate first-hand how important it is to support The Bob Willis Fund to bowl out this disease, or at least greatly restrict its scoring rate."
Fans attending the England v Pakistan one-day international on July 13 have been asked to wear blue in an event hashtagged #BlueforBob
The main beneficiary for this year's efforts will be Prostate Cancer UK, to support a UK-based research project.
Its director Dr Matthew Hobbs said: "We are proud to work with the Bob Willis Fund, and delighted that Prostate Cancer UK will be the main beneficiary of Blue For Bob Day.
"Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and the money raised will be absolutely vital in helping us reduce the harm that it does."
To make a donation please visit BobWillisFund.org.
His bowling action was iconic - now here's your chance to imitate bustling Bob Willis in full flow and raise money for prostate cancer research.
To help raise money and awareness for better research into prostate cancer, Edgbaston will turn #BlueforBob on July 13 during the third ODI between England and Pakistan.
His action was iconic – now it’s your turn to #BowllikeBob! 👍— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) May 20, 2021
Celebrate the life of a true legend by supporting the new @bobwillisfund, which aims to raise money & awareness for better prostate cancer research & diagnosis. 🏏
Simply video your attempt & use #BowllikeBob! 👏 pic.twitter.com/GEKCkYBKtb
As part of the day, Sky Sports will host a masterclass analysing Bob's unique bowling style and other cricketing legends will join us to share their memories of Bob.
All you have to do is have a go bowling like Bob - much as Sir Alastair Cook famously did during the first Test between England and India in 2014 - and post it on social media using the hashtag #BowlLikeBob and #BlueForBobday.
Don't delay - come off your long run today!
'Bob Willis: A Cricketer and a Gentleman' is available from all good bookshops and can also be ordered on Amazon.