Ray Illingworth dead: Former England and Yorkshire cricket captain dies aged 89

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Former England and Yorkshire cricket captain Ray Illingworth has died at the age of 89, the Yorkshire County Cricket Club have confirmed.

A social media statement read: “We are deeply saddened to learn that Ray Illingworth has passed away.

“Our thoughts are with Ray’s family and the wider Yorkshire family who held Ray so dear to their hearts.”

Illingworth captained England to an away Ashes victory over Australia back in 1970-71 and was captain on 31 occasions.

England won 12 of those matches and overall Illingworth played 61 Tests for England, the first in 1958 and the last in 1973.

Also a former England coach, Illingworth scored a total of 1,836 Test runs and claimed 122 wickets, at average of 23.24 and 31.20.

Illingworth coached the England team in 1995-96 after a three-year stint as the chairman of selectors.

He also led Yorkshire to three successive County Championship titles from 1966 to 1968. 

He had undergoing radiotherapy for esophageal cancer, with his wife Shirley having passed away earlier in 2021 after battling cancer.

Illingworth told the Daily Mail after his wife’s death that he would support assisted dying due to the pain that she suffered.

“I don’t want to have the last 12 months that my wife had,” he said. “She had a terrible time going from hospital to hospital and in pain.

“I believe in assisted dying. The way my wife was, there was no pleasure in life in the last 12 months, and I don’t see the point of living like that, to be honest.

“But we don’t have assisted dying in England yet, so you don’t have the option do you? They are debating it and I think it will come eventually.

“A lot of doctors are against it, but if they had to live like my wife did in her last 12 months they might change their minds.”


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