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banner Monday, 13 August, 2001, 07:47 GMT 08:47 UK
Headingley memories

England's victory over Australia at Headingley in 1981 was nothing short of miraculous but where were you that summer?

BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson turns the clock back 20 years.

It was the summer Charles and Diana got married, Shakin' Stevens was one of the biggest pop stars in the charts and a pint of beer cost less than 50p.

But there was unrest in Britain with riots in Brixton and Toxteth and unemployment creeping above the three million mark.

And the cricket was failing to lift the nation's spirits.

England had lost the first Test and drawn the second, which was enough to signal the resignation of captain Ian Botham.

They were in disarray and needed a victory in the third Test to get back on track in the Ashes series.

  21 July 1981
The Specials were at number one with Ghost Town
A packet of cigarettes cost 80p
A pint of beer would set you back 50p
The Rubiks cube was all the rage
The average weekly wage in Britain was 91.40

But it all seemed to go horribly wrong when Australia won the toss and elected to bat.

They put on 401 runs for nine wickets before declaring.

England in reply were all out for a dismal 174 and forced to follow-on.

They were heading for an innings defeat at 135 for seven - then Botham stepped up.

He blasted 149 not out to push England in front and set Australia a measly target of 130 to win.

In an unbelievable final day, the Australians crumbled to 111 all out.

It was only the second time in the history of Test cricket that the team following on had gone on to win the match.

Witnessing the amazing scenes at Headingley was a 16-year-old Leeds schoolgirl called Shelagh Iredale.

She had been to every day of the Test match and could not believe how the pendulum swung on that final day.

Shelagh, now Parkinson and living in Lancashire, said: "I was a Yorkshire Cricket Club member and the highlight of the year was the Test match.

"It was even more so that England were playing the Aussies.


I remember running on the pitch and jumping up and down with joy
  Shelagh Parkinson
"Together with my friend Louise, I went to every day of the Test match and even went to the practice day so I could meet the players!

"I just remember being so disappointed at the end of the fourth day and believed Australia would have the win wrapped up by lunchtime.

"They had not long had an electronic scoreboard at Headingley and I remember it flashed up that bookmakers at the ground were giving odds of 500-1 for an England victory.

"I was only 16 so I couldn't bet but a few members sat near us did - and obviously made a good profit!

"The atmosphere was electric when England began to get back into the match.

"We were cheering Bob Willis steaming in from the boundary to bowl at Aussies.

"When England won it was just an amazing feeling.

"I remember running on the pitch and jumping up and down with joy.

"It is something I can remember so vividly today and I'm proud to say 'I was there!'".

Where were you when England won the third Test at Headingley?

Send us your memories.

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