An 87-year-old man found dead after a fire at an Essex retirement complex has been identified by neighbours as former England cricketer Trevor Bailey.Firefighters called to a smoke-logged flat in Westcliff just after 0600 GMT found him in the kitchen.
A woman, believed to be Mr Bailey's wife, was rescued from the Crowstone Road flat, the fire service said.
Mr Bailey, an all-rounder for Essex and England, scored 1,000 runs and took 100 wickets in a year several times.
Essex fire service divisional officer Bob Wahl paid tribute to the firefighters who tried to save him.
Investigation under way "Crews did a fantastic job getting into the property quickly and searching through the smoke to find the woman," he said.
"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 the ambulance service.
"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."
A spokesman for Essex County Cricket Club said the club had been in contact with Mr Bailey's family about the death.