Raymond Illingworth CBE. Legend, leader, local icon, national treasure.
An integral figure in the Yorkshire team which won seven titles in the 1960s, including six County Championships, Illingworth has died at the age of 89.
An Ashes winning captain Down Under in 1970/71, his contribution to Farsley Cricket Club will never, ever be forgotten in that neck of woods.
A first-class and List A playing career spanned between 1951 and 1983, for Yorkshire, Leicestershire and England. He won titles for all those teams as captain.
In 1957, he completed a seasonal “double”, passing 1,000 first-class runs and 100 wickets, for the first of five times in his career.
He then became a highly successful and respected coach, administrator and broadcaster, while continuing to be heavily involved at Farsley, where he was president when he passed away.
In their tribute, the Bradford League said: “Over more than 70 years, he maintained a strong bond with the club.
“There aren’t many top players who have given back so much to their club after playing at the top level.
“You were just as likely to see him preparing the pitch, as chasing sponsors or selling raffle tickets, usually sporting his trademark shorts.”
An off-spinning all-rounder, ‘Illy’ played 61 Tests and three ODIs.
He captained England in the first ever one-day international against Australia at Melbourne in early 1971, and his final one-day international came shortly after his 41st birthday against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1973, the same year he was awarded a CBE.
He remains the oldest player to play in that format.
He took 122 Test wickets, including a best of 7/29, and scored 1,836 runs with two centuries.
His first-class career brought him 24,134 runs and 2,072 wickets.
Above all the personal stats, he would have been much happier with the silverware he won, lastly the Sunday League title as Yorkshire captain in 1983 having returned to Headingley from Leicestershire, where he had nurtured a young David Gower.
Illingworth’s post playing career is best known for becoming England’s chairman of selectors in 1994 followed by roles as coach and manager.
He was also a well known voice on the BBC’s cricket coverage.
One of his two daughters, Diane, is married to former Yorkshire batter Ashley Metcalfe. He also leaves behind Victoria.
In November, he revealed he was battling oesophageal cancer.
Yorkshire chair Lord Kamlesh Patel said: “I am saddened to hear of the death of Ray Illingworth, one of Yorkshire’s, and England’s, greatest players. He will be fondly remembered by fans of cricket across the county and the nation. My heart goes out to his family and all who knew him.”