How cartoonist helped create “Barnacle Bailey”

NORMAN GILLER bids farewell to old friend Trevor Bailey

News of Trevor’s tragic death in a fire had the effect of almost literally taking my breath away.

He died in his retirement flat in Westcliff just doors away from where I lived before ‘emigrating’ to dozy, delightful Dorset.

The last time I saw him was at the funeral of the great Daily Express sports cartoonist Roy Ullyett, another Westcliff resident and Trevor’s closest friend.

I delivered the eulogy and told the story of how Roy had mischievously done most to cement Trevor’s reputation as the Barnacle of cricket after one of the Bailey marathons during a Test Down Under. As Trevor said, “With friends like that, who needs enemies?”

Trevor told me at the wake that he and his wife were moving into a retirement flat in Crowstone Road, where I used to live and where he and Roy often visited when we were working together on a book for the Lord’s Taverners. “To think,” he said, “I will be retiring to a place down the road from where I was born. In 80 years I have managed to travel just half a mile.”

I am in shock at the manner of his death. He was one of my great cricket heroes when I was falling in love with sport in the 1940s. England has never had a more determined and dedicated competitor.

Trevor may have travelled only half a mile, but he moved a nation with his batting exploits. Rest easy, old friend.

Read Ian Cole’s personal tribute to Trevor Bailey by clicking here

For other tributes, click here

Read Norman Giller’s previous columns for the SJA website by clicking here