Botham's Ashes: the images and the yarns are as well-worn as the pages of a boy's first mucky book: the blind fury of those hook shots that nearly launched him off his feet, that square cut through point off Lillee, the irresistible force of his bowling action, enormously strong but still lithe. It is all as vivid as any childhood memory.
So, too, that famous picture of him in the Headingley dressing room, shirt off, the grinning man of the match raising a bottle: the king of the world. Or the more brooding shot taken the night before (145 not out overnight), about to light an atypically modest, slim cigar. He looks distant, solitary: perhaps he is reflecting on the magnitude of his achievements and what they could mean. Maybe he is just working out what his first pint will be. What a summer: 149 not out, 5 for 1, 118: the numbers need no elucidation to any cricket fan, for our memories will never fade.