Last Updated: 06/08/20 2:39pm
Bob Willis’ widow Lauren Clark hopes that a new biography on the England legend’s life will help fund telling research into the battle against prostate cancer.
Former fast bowler and Sky Sports analyst Willis died eight months ago at the age of 70 after a four-year battle with the disease.
On Monday Clarke, surrounded by some of Bob’s closest friends, launched the book ‘Bob Willis: A Cricketer and a Gentleman’ at The Oval.
The proceeds from all sales will go towards funding research into prostate cancer, which currently kills one man every 45 minutes in the United Kingdom.
“It’s really, really special for us – we’ve worked really hard on the book and it has not been easy to organise such a thing in these times and we could only have a few people socially-distanced [at this launch],” Clark said.
“But it’s special for us to have marked it and The Oval have been so generous at hosting this and the response has been amazing because it’s a testament to how much everybody loved Bob.
“It’s a hideous disease. People say to me ‘I didn’t know you could die of prostate cancer’ – well you can.”
At present there is not a national screening programme for prostate cancer – one of the things the charity wants to remedy – but first a reliable test needs to be found.
Sky Sports pundit and former West Indies paceman Michael Holding lost his father, in his eighties, and his brother, in his sixties, to prostate cancer.
“I know how deadly it can be,” he said. “I just wish people would pay more attention to prostate cancer. It’s a deadly disease, a silent disease because you don’t really understand what it’s doing to your body until sometimes it’s too late.
“People need to get that exam done. A lot of people, especially black men, don’t like the idea of that physical exam but it lasts a few seconds. Get it done so you know exactly where you are.”
‘Bob Willis: A Cricketer and a Gentleman’ is available from all good bookshops and can also be ordered on Amazon.