Ray Illingworth - Updated Jul 2024

Ray Illingworth

Ray Illingworth was a popular English cricketer, cricket commentator, and administrator. Ray Illingworth was one of just nine players to have scored 20,000 runs and taken 2,000 wickets in first-class cricket as of 2015.

Early Life and Childhood

Ray Illingworth was born on June 8, 1932, in Pudsey, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. He was 89 years old at the time of his death. However, there is no information about his parents and other relatives.  His father was a joiner and cabinet maker.

During World War II, his father also put in shifts at a factory that produced weapons. Ray frequently assisted his father with repairs, upholstery, and French polishing before his father went back to his business of making cabinets. Likewise, he holds English nationality but his ethnicity is unknown.

At the age of 14, he dropped out of school and began playing for the Farsley Cricket Club main XI shortly after the war’s end in 1945. At the age of 13, he did play for Farsley’s First XI.

He gained popularity for his unbeaten score of 148 in the Priestley Cup final. During his time in the national service, he continued to practice his trade by playing for the RAF and the Combined Services.

Playing Style

Ray Illingworth studied the game carefully. He was practical and only liked to gamble on certain things. He was not a particularly skilled spinner of the ball as a bowler, relying instead on accuracy and minute variations in flight, but his arm ball was especially deadly, with many of his victims being caught at slip while playing for an unrealized spin.

His middle-order batting was built around stubborn defense; a fifth of his innings, typically starting at numbers 6 or 7, were not out. Overall, he amassed 24,134 first-class runs, averaging 28.06, with a best of 162. Illingworth led the England averages in 1970 against the Rest of the World with 476 runs (52.89) and six half-centuries.

Career and Professional Life

Unfortunately, Ray Illingworth’s three-year tenure as chairman of selectors, which occurred at a time when he stood to lose in the eyes of the public, damaged his once-glamourous reputation as a cricket tactician.

The apparent mental toughness he displayed, however, was revealed to be pigheadedness when, as chairman, he denied his captains the same right. His refusal to let Mike Atherton use Alec Stewart as the wicket-keeper in the 1996 World Cup.

Ray Illingworth

Caption: Ray Illingworth was captured during one of his matches
Source: The Cricket Monthly

Moreover, Ray Illingworth’s greatest talent as captain was making it appear as though he had 14 or 15 players on the field. He was so skilled at blocking a batsman’s favorable scoring strokes that when the opposition was in trouble, it frequently must have appeared that there were no runs available anywhere.

Illingworth’s off-spin, which averaged a meager 1.91 runs per over in his 61 Tests, was very effective in this regard. He had a sturdy build and stood just under six feet tall.

His batting, which he typically did at No. 6 or 7, was based on orthodox technique and a steadfast resolve not to lose his wicket, as evidenced by the fact that a fifth of his innings ended with no runs scored, sometimes to the detriment of his teams. Despite this, he was one of the most well-liked players of his era thanks to a humorous sense of humor and a wealth of memories.

Personal Life and Death

Ray Illingworth was a straight-gender person. As for his marital status, he was a married man. He had tied the knot with Shirley Milnes in 1958. They were together until her demise in March 2021. They had two beautiful daughters named Diane and Vicky.

Ray Illingworth

Caption: Ray with his wife
Source: BBC

He spoke out in favor of assisted suicide in November 2021 after receiving a serious oesophageal cancer diagnosis. Additionally, he supported the Assisted Dying Bill, which would have legalized the practice in the UK. In October 2021, the bill was given a second reading in the House of Lords.

He had insisted that he supported assisted suicide and had stated that he preferred to “leave the world peacefully” rather than “live the way his wife had suffered” for the previous 12 months before her passing. He passed away on December 25, 2021, at the age of 89. His daughters survived him.

Ray Illingworth – Net Worth 2024

This veteran English cricketer had earned a hefty amount of money throughout his career. He had a net worth of $5 million at the time of his demise. But he hadn’t disclosed his salary and other asset values.

Social Media

Reflecting on his social media presence, he wasn’t active on any of the social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. He liked to keep his life away from the limelight of the media.

Ray Illingworth – Body Measurements

Talking about his physical appearance, he had a well-maintained dazzling body personality. However, there are no details about his height, weight, shoe size, body size, dress size, waist size, and so on. But looking at his pictures we can assume that he had a pair of brown eyes with brown colored hair.

Ray Illingworth

Caption: Ray posing for a photo Source: The Times