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Monday, 13 August, 2001, 06:30 GMT 07:30 UK
Memories of Headingley 1981
Were at Headingley watching one of the all-time great Ashes clashes?
England's amazing win over Australia in 1981 was one of the all-time great clashes in Ashes history.

BBC Sport Online is inviting you to share your memories of this classic encounter.


The match was the stuff of fairy-tales: Mike Brearley's return as captain, Ian Botham responding like a Colossus, and Bob Willis bowling as if his life was at stake.

Just when Australia looked like running away with the game, Botham initiated a miraculous turnaround late in England's second innings.

When Willis went on to take 8-43, Australia were all out for 111 and England secured a famous 18-run victory.

Were you at Headingley to watch the classic match unfold, or were you listening on the radio?

Whatever you were doing, allow yourself to reminisce on this great sporting occasion by e-mailing your memories to BBC Sport Online.


I was at Oxford doing research, and I recall hearing around luchtime on the fourth day that England were about to go down. When I left the lab around five I was stunned to hear about Botham's knock. I charged up to the College to watch the close on TV. I devoted the next day to watching the entire day's play, laying in provisions. It was a wonderful example of what cricket can provide unlike any other sport: an extended, developing drama building over time to a thrilling climax.
Richard Jarman, USA

I was working in an operating theatre and the surgeons kept sending me out every ten minutes to the back corridor to check the score on the radio.
Andrew Ponsford, Wales

I had a stroke of luck on April 28 1981. I broke my leg and spent 15 weeks watching the cricket. Lovely! Whilst it's remembered as Botham's Ashes don't forget the part played by Bob Willis and Graham Dilley, who at one time was out-scoring Beefy.
Willy Glover, England

The atmosphere built and built as we realised we were watching something extraordinary
Anthony Firth, Yorkshire

I was there on the final day, sat under the main scoreboard. The main reason for going was the reduced entrance price - 2, which seemed okay for the two or three hours we thought the Aussies would take to claim the last wicket and knock off the runs.

The ground was less than quarter full in the morning session but at lunchtime, a remarkable number of suits arrived, rumour had it that the commercial district of Leeds had all but closed down.

As the match developed, the atmosphere built and built as we realised we were watching something extraordinary. Then when the last wicket went down I found myself charging across the outfield to the pavilion to cheer the team.

I wish I could have taped the stick I gave my brother when I got home. He wouldn't get out of bed that morning claiming that going to the match was a waste of time!
Anthony Firth, Yorkshire

I was 12 years old and had skipped school pretending to have stomach pains
Mark Proffitt, England

My lasting image is that of Terry Alderman, the last Australian batsman, almost cringing in fear as Botham ran in to bowl him. I don't recall an Australian batsman even a number 11, looking like that since!
Anthony Green, Italy

I was on a train on the way home from work listening to the radio during Bob Willis' amazing bowling spell. I went into a tunnel and when I came out several wickets seemed to have fallen! I had to wait ages to see the highlights.
Tom, UK

I was a City of London wine merchant in 1981, and I was one of those fortunates who enjoyed the overwhelming generosity of one of our clients who had managed to get 100 placed on England to win - at 500-1! He bought our champagne bar out of stock that evening, and gave us all a day to remember.
Paul Tholen, England

I was 12 years old and had skipped school pretending to have stomach pains. I spent all day gripped with excitement, watching my two heroes Ian Botham and Bob Willis. I still didn't believe what was happing but I was so proud, the only downside was when my father came home and found out that I had skipped school. I was in trouble but it was so worth it.
Mark Proffitt, England

I remember watching the odds flash up at 500-1 but because we had just made a visit to the bookies tent we couldn't be bothered to go back again. What a mistake!
Paul Male, USA

I remember watching the odds flash up at 500-1 but because we had just made a visit to the bookies tent we couldn't be bothered to go back again. What a mistake! I think the horse we backed is still running. I remember that a certain Albert Parker who frequented the Fox and Hounds in Bramhope made a tidy sum.
Paul Male, USA

I can recall that day as if it were yesterday. I was flying back to London from Paris, we were getting all the usual announcements from the chief stewardess, and she finished with, 'England have won the Test match'. There was a shout of incredulity through the plane, especially all us English businessmen, so much so that after a couple of minutes, the captain came on to say yes, we had won the game, and if we could all wait until we were airborne, we could celebrate! What a game that was, all thanks to Beefy and Bob!
Geoffrey Todd, Ireland

We were at the Lords Test, sitting under a banner that a friend had made with 'Get well soon Botham' written on it. Luckily he made a splendid recovery for Headingley and Old Trafford.
Trev, UK

It's a little sad when you need a talking point topic on something that happened 20 years ago. Hasn't England won anything since?
Mark Schuller, Australia

1981 is in danger of becoming cricket's 1966
Tim, UK

I have no memories of this Test at all. However, I do remember the last seven Ashes series quite well. I'd be happy to let you know where I was on each of the occasions these series were won if you'd only ask.
Daryl, Australia

1981 is in danger of becoming cricket's 1966- a mythical date that we spend too much time idolising and not enough time realizing that opponents might well enjoy looking back but also move on. Why wasn't an Academy set up at least 20 years ago in England? I rest my case.
Tim, UK

I was 11 years old and as fate would have it I was absent from school due to sickness. In those days, there wasn't much daytime TV, especially for kids, so there was nothing to do but watch what was available on that day, ie. the Test match. My father worked nights, and had woken up late. He soon left to do some shopping with mum, but was quickly back as he was keeping score on the car radio. I was very fortunate to enjoy Botham's fun and share the occasion at home with my dad. It was a day I will never forget.
Sayed Rafai, Bahrain

I was born on the day when Bob Willis ripped through the Aussies and as a result was christened Robert Willis Waddington. I was going to be named after Botham but when I was born I had reddish hair. My dad was listening to the flame-haired Willis destroy the Aussies and when he saw my ginger hair, he immediately told my mother what I should be called. Sadly, non of the Willis magic rubbed off on me and although I love cricket, I am more use in the score box than out on the field.
Robert Waddington, England

I was born on the day when Bob Willis ripped through the Aussies and as a result was christened Robert Willis Waddington
Robert Waddington, England

I was there! Nine years of age, sat under the electronic scoreboard. I was with my parents and my uncle on the Monday when Botham came out to bat and I scored it all in my scorebook. In the frenzied excitement, I made numerous errors, later meticulously rectified by mum! My uncle claimed that there was magic in the air and that England would win and so he took me on the Tuesday too.

Magnificent! I have since met so many people who claimed to be there yet my recollection is that the ground was only half full. My proof of attendance is in the video. I am clearly visible storming the pitch at the end in my red baseball cap, chasing Botham and Willis to the Pavilion. Unforgettable!
Matthew Kellett, Scotland

I am an avid sports fan and have been to most venues in this country and a number abroad. The Headingley Test was the only time, either before or since, when I took a radio out with me to listen to a sporting event. I was in Brighton with the radio pressed to my ear and was getting more and more animated and vocal as each Aussie second-innings wicket fell. The feeling when we won was sensational and something rivalled by very few events since.
Alan Hill, UK

That final day is etched on my mind forever. I watched it on TV and I also bought the video "Botham's Ashes" which I play when the Aussies are thrashing us. Guess I better play it again this week!
Paul B., Wales, UK

When the final wicket was taken an enormous cheer almost raised the roof
Nick Andrews, England

Without doubt the greatest match in the history of the sport. I watched it but couldn't believe what I was seeing. We still needed 90-odd to avoid an innings defeat with just three second-innings wickets left. Botham and Dilley were at the crease and the miracle began. Unbelievable stuff. It made us all very proud, that game.
Dave, England

I was the only person in our office who had a radio and word soon spread during lunchtime. As the match reached its thrilling climax, upwards of 20 people were crammed in my small office. Anyone trying to discuss work was given short shrift and the only telephone calls were from other colleagues wanting an update. When the final wicket was taken, an enormous cheer almost raised the roof. The boss? he was closer to the radio than anyone.
Nick Andrews, England

I was at school on the famous last day (I was 13). I remember our maths teacher having a TV on during our lunch period which was unheard of. I remember seeing Chris Old bowl Allan Border off the inside edge to give us a major chance of victory. I struggled through a Geography lesson and ran all the way home to discover we had won. Fantastic summer.
Jim Robertson, England

So often referred to as "Botham's Test." It was Ian Botham who turned that match around for England, but it was Bob Willis's heroic bowling that won it.
Philip Godber, Australia

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