Former England skipper Illingworth battling cancer

Former England skipper Ray Illingworth, who famously captained the team to an Ashes triumph in Australia in 1970โ€“71, has said he is undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer.

A combative Yorkshireman who captained England in 31 test matches between 1958 and 1973 and played in the first ever one-day international in 1971, Illingworth also had spells as an administrator and the coach of the national team.

The 89-year-old, whose wife Shirley died in March after her own fight with cancer, said he was hopeful of a full recovery.

“They got rid of a lot of the tumour but there were still two centimetres left, originally it was eight,” Illingworth told the Daily Telegraph.

“They’re just hoping to get rid of the last bit with extra double doses (of radiotherapy). I will see how these next two doses go, keep my fingers crossed and hope I have a bit of luck.

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

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