LONDON         -      Bob Willis, the former England cricket captain, has died aged 70, his family announced on Wednesday. The pace bowler made 90 Test match appearances for his country and took 325 wickets, placing him fourth in the all-time list of England bowlers. He famously played a key part in the memorable 1981 third Test defeat of Australia at Headingley that was won from a seemingly impossible position, taking a career-best 8-43. He enjoyed a long career in broadcasting after his retirement in 1984, first for the BBC and then latterly on Sky. Willis’ family, who revealed he had died “after a long illness”, said in a statement: “We are heartbroken to lose our beloved Bob, who was an incredible husband, father, brother and grandfather. He made a huge impact on everybody he knew and we will miss him terribly. “Bob is survived by his wife Lauren, daughter Katie, brother David and sister Ann. The Willis family has asked for privacy at this time to mourn the passing of a wonderful man and requests that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Prostate Cancer UK.” The ECB led the tributes to the hugely popular player. “We are deeply saddened to say farewell to Bob Willis, a legend of English cricket, at the age of 70,” the statement read. “Bob spearheaded the England bowling attack for more than a decade and took 325 Test wickets. He will always be remembered for his outstanding cricket career, in particular the dramatic Headingley Test victory. “In later years as a broadcaster Bob was a perceptive and respected voice at the microphone. We are forever thankful for everything he has done for the game. Everyone at the ECB sends sincere condolences to his family. Cricket has lost a dear friend.”