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Byline: Lan Botham

Best known for: Being one of the greatest ever cricketers.

SPOTLIGHT ON... Ian Botham Early life: Ian Terence Botham was born in Heswall, Cheshire, on November 24, 1955. Both his parents were keen cricketers, and both worked for the aircraft manufacturer Westland. Ian went to school in Yeovil, Somerset, where his love affair with sport began. Despite being offered a contract by Crystal Palace FC, he followed his dream of playing professionally for Somerset County Cricket Club, beginning his first-class career in 1974. Upon his England debut he became an instant icon.

Career: He made his Test debut for England on 28 July 1977 in the Third Test against Australia. He went on to enjoy a Test career spanning 15 years, which saw him play in 102 matches. He was the biggest domestic sporting star of the 1980s and is generally regarded as being England's greatest ever all-rounder, particularly in Test cricket, although he received his knighthood in recognition of his work for charity - including undertaking a series of longdistance charity walks. His first, in 1985, was a 900-mile trek from John o' Groats to Land's End.

Botham also played cricket domestically in Australia, as well as for Worcestershire and Durham, and had spells in the Football League with both Scunthorpe United and Yeovil Town. He is now a commentator and after-dinner speaker.

Trivia: Been married to Kathy since 1976; they have two daughters and a son.

Quote: "I can remember running around at the age of three, wanting to play golf, cricket and football. I was always active, one way or another, driving my parents mad."

Tonight: Piers Morgan's Life Stories: Ian Botham, ITV, 9pm (see opposite page).
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 8, 2014
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