The Worshipful the Mayor of Southend, Councillor Ann Holland joined those paying tribute to Trevor Bailey, a Freeman of the Borough, who died in a fire on the 10th Feb.
She said: "This is a very very sad loss indeed. Mr Bailey was a cricketing legend and a very important part of Southend.
"He was made a Freeman of the Borough at the Millennium, and was also a CBE.
"I always found him to be very professional, and very friendly. He was a really genuine person.
My thoughts go out to his wife at this very difficult time. I heard the news early this morning when I had a call from the Fire Service, and I was absolutely shocked. It is a terrible tragedy.
"The first time I met Mr Bailey was when Southend Cricket Festival moved from Southchurch Park to its new location at Garon Park. As I was the portfolio holder at that time, we were both involved in publicity surrounding the launch events to mark the change of venue.”
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