Essex: Cricket legend Trevor Bailey killed in flat fire

TRIBUTES have been paid to English cricket legend Trevor Bailey after he died in a blaze at his flat in a retirement complex.

Three fire crews were called to Crowstone Road in Westcliff at 6.16am this morning, where they found a heavily smoke-logged flat.

Wearing breathing apparatus, firefighters entered the flat and rescued a woman.

They later confirmed that a man had died.

A fire investigation officer will be sent to the scene today to establish the cause of the incident.

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Mr Bailey, 87, is recognised as one of the greatest players in Essex County Cricket Club history.

He served the club for 21 years and played a total 682 matches for the county.

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He went on to score 28,641 runs, taking 2,082 wickets and places him 25th on the all-time list of wicket-takers. He captained the county from 1961 to 1966.

Mr Bailey also played 61 Test matches for England between 1949 and 1959, taking 132 wickets and scoring 2290 runs.

Doug Insole, a close friend and Essex County Cricket Club president, said: “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 1950’s Trevor was a tower of strength – a great all rounder with a cast iron temperament. He was one of a kind and a very sad loss to his many friends”

A spokesman for the club added: “Everyone at Essex Cricket sends their condolences to the family and friends of Trevor at this tragic time.”

Divisional Officer Bob Wahl, incident commander, said: “Crews did a fantastic job getting into the property quickly and searching through the smoke to find the woman.

“She was in bed with the door shut and so that’s probably what saved her. Firefighters carried her out of the property and she was left in the care of Ambulance Service paramedics.

“Her husband had gone to the kitchen, which is where crews found him. Unfortunately there was nothing we could do.

“We will now have to wait for the fire investigation results to see how the fire started. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”

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