Poeple's Champion for cricket


Born: Ian Terence Botham, 24 November, 1955, in Heswall, Cheshire. Son of Leslie and Marie Botham. Family moved to Yeovil, where his father worked at Westland Helicopters.

Educated at the town's Buckler's Mead secondary school. Married to Kath, three children; son Liam was a professional rugby player.

Best of times: The Ashes series of 1981, commonly known as `Botham's Ashes'. His performances were the key factor in England winning the series. (He says he prefers the Brisbane Test of the 1986-87 England Ashes tour, when he scored a century.) His GBP 10m raised for charity. And now his knighthood.

Worst of times: His short spell as England captain - which preceded the glories of 1981. Banned in 1986 for cannabis use. Being described as one of David Brent's role models in The Office.

What he says: "It's always good beating the Australians - and it's even better to beat them out there. But the Ashes is just one thing. Ask me for the biggest highlight when I'm lying on my deathbed - then I'll tell you."

What Graham Gooch says: He's been England's foremost cricketer of the past 30 years and he's put in all that hard work and all those miles for a fantastic cause. He's been the people's champion for cricket. He was a cricketer who put bums on seats.