Ray Illingworth is a British rally driver and four-time WRC champion. He drove for Subaru in the 1990s, achieving their first win in North America at Round 3 of the 1995 World Rally Championship (WRC).

Richard “Ray” Illingworth is a British professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Everton.

Ray Illingworth

Ray IllingworthFor 40 years, Ray Illingworth was a major figure in English cricket.

Ray Illingworth, a former England and Yorkshire captain, has died at the age of 89.

The all-rounder had been getting radiation for esophageal cancer while leading England to an away Test series triumph over Australia in 1970-71.

Between 1958 and 1973, Illingworth played 61 Tests for England, collecting 1,836 runs at an average of 23.24 and claiming 122 wickets at a strike rate of 31.20. He captained England 31 times, winning 12 of them.

Between 1959 and 1968, he helped Yorkshire win seven domestic championships in nine years.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club paid respect to “the club’s most successful modern day skipper” Ray Illingworth on Twitter, writing, “We are profoundly sorry to hear that Ray Illingworth has died away.”

“Our hearts go out to Ray’s family and the rest of the Yorkshire family who loved him so much.”

“It’s always tremendously painful to lose a person who has done so much to the English game, and to the sport of cricket in general,” England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison said in a statement.

“Ray was a fantastic cricketer, and his profound love, enthusiasm, and understanding of the game allowed him to contribute even after his playing days were over.”

“At this terrible time, we express our condolences and best wishes to Ray’s friends and family.”

“Everyone at Leicestershire County Cricket Club is terribly, extremely grieved to learn of the loss of former skipper,” the club wrote on Twitter.

“At this terrible moment, our sympathies are with Illy’s family and friends.”

Illingworth was an honorary life member of the Marylebone Cricket Club, which was “very sorry” to hear of his passing.

Illingworth started playing at his hometown club in Farsley, where he would spend practically his whole life, on June 8, 1932, in Pudsey, between Leeds and Bradford.

Long into his 70s, Illingworth continued to prepare wickets at Farsley, and the club tweeted that cricket had “lost a great.”

“Absolute LEGEND of a guy, you will be dearly missed by many!” they said.

He began his first-class career in 1951, two months after becoming 19 years old, and it lasted for a decade after he finished the last of his 61 Tests, until retiring in 1983, at the age of 51.

Illingworth was a key player for Yorkshire during one of their most successful eras, winning seven County Championship championships in nine years, including three in a row starting in 1966.

In 1975, he also assisted Leicestershire in winning their first County Championship.

Illingworth scored 24,134 runs at an average of 28.06 and claimed 2,072 wickets at an average of 20.27 in 787 first-class games.

Before becoming England’s chairman of selectors in 1994, he worked as a television commentator before combining the roles of national team coach and chairman of selectors for a contentious period from 1995 to 1996.

Illingworth requested greater control in selection choices while he was captain of England. When he was coach, though, he refused to provide the same rights to captain Michael Atherton, and the two regularly battled.

In 2011, during his second year as President of Yorkshire, Illingworth had a heart attack and announced in November 2021 that he was undergoing treatment for oesophageal cancer.

He was the oldest player to have played in a one-day international at the time of his death, having captained England against Australia in the world’s first ODI in 1971.

Proponents of assisted suicide

Following the loss of his wife Shirley from cancer earlier this year, Illingworth expressed his support for reforms to the legislation regarding assisted dying.

“I don’t want to go through what my wife went through the past year,” he stated. “She was in excruciating agony as she went from hospital to hospital.”

“I believe in physician-assisted death. There was no joy in life in the previous 12 months because of my wife’s behavior, and I don’t see the value in continuing to live like that.

“But assisted dying isn’t legal in England yet, so you don’t have that choice, do you?” They are discussing it, and I believe it will happen sooner or later.

“A lot of physicians are opposed to it, but if they had to live as my wife did in her final year, they may reconsider.”

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