Tributes To Former Essex Cricketer

Tributes have been paid after former Essex and England cricketer Trevor Bailey died in a fire at his home in a retirement complex.

Bailey, 87, was found dead by firefighters after the blaze at a flat in Crowstone Road, Westcliff, shortly after 6am on Thursday, police sources said.

His wife, Greta, was rescued and needed hospital treatment.

An investigation is underway - although sources said the cause of the fire was not suspicious.

Bailey, one of England's greatest all-rounders, won 61 Test caps between 1949 and 1959, played 682 games for Essex over two decades and went on to become a commentator on BBC Radio's Test Match Special programme.

Former England and Essex cricketer Ronnie Irani led tributes, telling Heart that, "Trevor Bailey was a fantastic cricketer.

"He used to come down to the County Ground and have a chat with us when I was a player.

"More than anything he had a fine cricket brain. He was a lovely character, he was such a fun, fun guy.

"It's a real sad loss to the cricketing world."

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke said. "His loss will be deeply felt.''

Essex president Doug Insole added: "Trevor was a great friend for well over 60 years. We played football and cricket for Cambridge University and were colleagues in the Essex side for about 15 years.

"In the England team in the 1950s Trevor was a tower of strength - a great all-rounder with a cast iron temperament. He was one of a kind.''

Ex-England captain David Gower told Sky television: "I suspect a lot of younger people like myself will remember him for what he brought to the radio. Trevor was very much part of that Test Match Special team pretty much in its heyday.''