Remembering 'the Boil'
When asked to name cricketers who supporters love, one immediately thinks of those swashbuckling players who can change a game in a few overs - the likes of an Ian Botham, Adam Gilchrist or Virender Sehwag.
But fans also love a fighter - someone who defends their wicket at all costs and defies the odds to frustrate the opposition.
In the modern era, you think of Rahul Dravid, who is nicknamed 'the Wall' because of the difficulty in dislodging him once he is established at the crease.
You also have to mention Geoffrey Boycott, who built his reputation on the most solid of defences, and then there is Essex and England all-rounder Trevor Bailey, who has very sadly passed away at the age of 87.
Bailey (rear) in the Test Match Special commentary box with Brian Johnston - photo: Getty
His partnership with Willie Watson in the 1953 Ashes Test at Lord's has gone down in cricketing folklore; the pair batted together for more than four hours to keep the Australians at bay, a feat which makes James Anderson and Monty Panesar's Cardiff defiance of 2009 seem like a walk in the park.
After retirement from cricket, Bailey became a legendary figure in the Test Match Special box and some of my favourite memories as a youngster obsessed with listening to TMS are of his stories about famous rearguard actions.
I was absolutely fascinated with this character known as 'the Boil' and remember that on an album released featuring the stars of Test Match Special, Bailey was asked by Brian Johnston about his memories of playing against Don Bradman.
In his wonderfully distinctive voice, I vividly recall Bailey talking about facing the Don at Southend in 1948 and saying: "We bowled Australia out in a day .... although they did score 721 runs."
Bailey worked on TMS from 1967 until 1999 and alongside Fred Trueman became one of the most familiar voices on the programme. As a listener what I liked about him was that he didn't waste his time on platitudes. He could be a harsh critic of a player, but when Trevor Bailey praised someone it really meant something.
At Headingley in 1981 it was Bailey who put Ian Botham's amazing 149 not out into context: "It was a magnificent century, what more can you say.... One of the greatest innings of all time in Test cricket... the sort of innings one of the greats like a Garry Sobers would have been proud to have played..stupendous."
As a player himself, although rightly praised as an all-time-great blocker - Bailey's other achievements should not be underestimated. He achieved the rare feat of taking 10 wickets in an innings, is the only player since the Second World War to score more than 2,000 runs and take 100 wickets in a season and in 1950 was selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year.
He was also a very talented footballer who back in the 1950s played in the Walthamstow Avenue side which reached the fourth round of the FA Cup. Like another non-league side Crawley this season, Walthamstow were drawn to play Manchester United at Old Trafford and managed to earn a replay after a 1-1 draw.
It is no great surprise that even as a footballer his most famous moment should feature a battle against the odds.
I am sad that I never got to work with Trevor Bailey in the Test Match Special box but I am sure that , like me, you will have many great memories of listening to him over the years.
We will pay tribute to Trevor Bailey during our coverage of the forthcoming World Cup - but I would love to hear your thoughts on him either here on the TMS Blog or on Twitter @tmsproducer, some of which may be included in our look-back on his career both on the field and in the commentary box.
On behalf of the Test Match Special team, we send kind regards to his family and friends on such a tragic loss.