Tributes to fire death ex-cricketer
Published 10/02/2011 | 12:52
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 Westcliff, Essex, shortly after 6am, police sources said.
His wife, Greta, was rescued and needed hospital treatment after the fire, which sources said 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.
"Trevor Bailey was not only one of the finest all-round cricketers this country has ever produced, he was also someone who made an enormous contribution to the game as an administrator and as a writer and broadcaster," England and Wales Cricket Board 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."
Firefighters said Bailey was found dead in the kitchen.
"Crews did a fantastic job getting into the property quickly and searching through the smoke to find (Mrs Bailey). She was in bed with the door shut and so that's probably what saved her," said divisional officer Bob Wahl.
He added: "(Mr Bailey) had gone to the kitchen, which is where crews found him. Unfortunately there was nothing we could do."