Sir Ian Botham: Our society has made divorce too easy

Ex-cricket star Sir Ian Botham has criticised the ease of divorce, saying sometimes you have to “eat humble pie and work on your marriage”.

The former England captain has admitted having an affair but is still with his wife Kath after 37 years.

He said: “The problem with the society we’ve created is that it’s so easy to walk away from marriage. It’s so simple that it’s pathetic.


“There are more divorces now than there were 10 years ago and thousands more than there were 20 years ago.

“I think you’ve got to be prepared to put your hand up and say, ‘Yes, I got that wrong’ and you’ve got to eat humble pie and work on your marriage.

“Marriages don’t just happen. If anyone who’s been together for 37 years tells you it’s been a smooth run then they are lying.”


He added: “Of course there have been problems and Kath held the family together at times”.

The cricketing all-rounder added that there were times when she was “left there with the children” while he was travelling with his sport.

“Kath was isolated at times. She is a remarkable lady”, he said.


But now they are enjoying life together with walks and travelling.

Sir Ian Botham played 102 times for England, taking nearly 400 wickets and hitting 14 centuries.

In 2010, actor Jeff Bridges, who has been married for over 30 years to his wife Susan, backed the importance of sticking with marriage.

The Hollywood superstar has described the secret of a long marriage as “not getting divorced”. He said: “It’s practice”.


Last year a documentary on Winston Churchill showed that his marriage to Clementine was a vital part of his life.

Dr David Starkey fronted the programme about the wartime Prime Minister, and said Sir Winston was himself the “beneficiary of a deeply happy marriage”.

In the programme, which focused on both Sir Winston and his ancestor John Churchill, Dr Starkey said their marriages were “the rock upon which their whole lives were built”.

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