It's World Cancer day, and every day, millions fight several forms of a disease for which there is as yet no cure. We have lost many eminent names across fields to the disease. Treatment, rehabilitation and recovery are known to be draining, both physically and mentally, with a steep recovery curve.
We bring you seven personalities across the sporting world who fought various forms of the deadly disease:
Now one of the most outspoken, popular commentators in cricket, Geoffrey Boycott had a prolific cricketing career that saw him hold a number of records for a time.
Boycott showed his cricketing prowess early, winning an award for batting when he was still in primary school, contributing to his team’s victory with bat and ball. Boycott’s early career saw him spend a significant time batting for Yorkshire, and was so successful with the bat that he was second in the national batting averages in his first season with the side.
He ended 1964 having topped England’s domestic batting average.
After his immense successes, he was called up to captaincy in 1971, holding the title for eight years. He would spend eighteen years with the English test side, scoring over 8100 runs in 100 tests for the team –and was the first ever English cricketer to pass 8000 runs.
Boycott remains sixth on the list of all-time run-scorers for the team.
He retired from international cricket in the early 1980s, and began commentating soon after, a role he quickly became popular in. Boycott became known for several catchphrases in that time, and continued to be a regular with commentary until 2002, when he was first diagnosed with cancer.
Whilst shaving, Boycott, who had at that point had been suffering from a persistent sore throat, found a lump in his throat that was eventually found to have been caused by no fewer than four tumours close to his vocal cords.
Cautioned against surgery, Boycott had thirty-five sessions of radiotherapy, and whilst in remission, returned to cricket commentary – in writing – for a year until he returned to on-air commentary in 2004.
Boycott continues to commentate to this day, and is one of the key voices behind the BBC’s Test Match Special.