Essex

Trevor Bailey memorial service held in Chelmsford

Hundreds of people have attended a service of thanksgiving for the life of former England cricketer Trevor Bailey.

Ex-England captains Graham Gooch and Mike Gatting stood alongside current county players and internationals at Chelmsford Cathedral.

They were united in celebration of a "well-loved man" who died aged 87 in a fire at his Westcliff home in February.

David East, chief executive of Essex County Cricket Club, said they came to remember a "legendary all-rounder".

Bailey was a member of the BBC's Test Match Special commentary team after a playing career during which he played 61 Tests for England and starred for Essex over three decades.

Fellow commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins said he had affectionate memories of a man who lived life to the full.

'Fierce competitor'

"He was one of the greatest English cricketers, the all-rounder in a side that won three Ashes series in a row.

"But he wore his fame lightly in later years and regarded himself as an ordinary bloke."

Gooch said Bailey was a national hero and a great supporter of Essex cricket.

Image caption Former England and Essex captain Graham Gooch at the thanksgiving service

"I didn't see him play at his best but faced him when I was starting in the game and he was playing for Westcliff.

"He was a much loved man and will be greatly missed."

BBC Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew said he loved Bailey's coverage of the sport and hearing about his batting exploits.

"He was a fierce competitor who took the laws of the game to the limit.

"I shall miss his stories about the game and I loved his company."

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