Vaughan looked a dejected figure after England lost the Test series to South Africa
Michael Vaughan's resignation as England Test captain came as a surprise and a disappointment to former players.
Ex-England captain Mike Gatting, the last man before Vaughan to lead England to Ashes glory, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I was a bit surprised.
"I thought he might have gone on to the last Test match to get the runs we all know he is capable of and leave the selectors with a bit of a headache.
"But he wouldn't have liked to make it a difficult choice for the selectors."
Yorkshire captain Darren Gough, who will welcome Vaughan back for his side's battle to remain in County Championship Division One, was shocked he had decided to step down.
"I am very disappointed for Michael Vaughan and for England because I thought he was an excellent captain and leader," Gough said.
"I said on my radio show last week that I thought he should stay on as England captain.
MOST TESTS AS ENGLAND CAPTAIN
MA Atherton: 1993-2001, 54
MP Vaughan: 2003-08, 51
N Hussain: 1999-2003, 45
PBH May: 1955-1961, 41
GA Gooch: 1988-1993, 34
DI Gower: 1982-1989, 32
"He is a terrific player and, like Collingwood, is probably only one innings away from resurrecting his form.
"The timing is never right when to resign but it tends to be when you have lost a series. I think that pressure from outside has built up sufficient for him to say enough is enough.
"He was well respected by the players and I thought he should have waited until after India to make a decision but it is up to him and he has decided to do it now."
The former England captain Geoffrey Boycott, also a former Yorkshire batsman, concedes Vaughan's exit has come as a shock but that his game has not been right for some time.
"I think everybody's a bit surprised," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "Peter Moores (the England coach) was saying on Saturday after England had lost that Michael would be captain in the last Test match and that his position was safe.
"But I think he's been late on the ball for quite a while now. Where did it start? I don't know.
"From watching him for quite a long time, his foot's not quite down, he's front knee's not bent, his weight is not quite forward and it's all not quite there.
"When someone mentioned maybe his eyes have gone I laughed. But then I thought maybe he should check his eyes, go back to square one and look at his technique."