News / Cricket

Syd Lawrence becomes first black president of Gloucestershire 

By Betty Woolerton , Thursday Apr 21, 2022

David ‘Syd’ Lawrence has been unveiled as the new president of Gloucestershire – becoming one of the first black presidents of any county cricket club.

Welcoming the former pace bowler to the role on Thursday, April 14, Lawrence has big plans for Gloucestershire CCC – including opening the game up to people of colour and children of all backgrounds.

Lawrence’s history-defining appointment, which replaced Roger Gibbons on a two-year term, comes in the wake of disturbing revelations in the sport.

Independent journalism
is needed now More than ever
Keep our city's journalism independent. Become a supporter member today.

Last year, in Sky’s You Guys are History, the 58-year-old recounted receiving racial abuse from a Gloucestershire team-mate. The documentary saw a player leave a banana skin outside Lawrence’s door at his first away match and suffer racial abuse from crowds. Lawrence later received an apology from the club.

After his experiences as a player, Lawrence is raring to go to build a more inclusive future at the club based in Ashley Down.

“The game itself has gone through a massive upheaval and I think it’s time for a bit of diversity. On the wall of presidents in the club, I’m going to be the first one of colour – and that means a lot to me”, said Lawrence, speaking at the club’s AGM last week where his appointment was announced.

He added: “I’m not here just as a token gesture, and what I mean by that is a lot has happened in cricket over the last six months, and we know we need to do more within the game. I’m happy to be making sure we are going in the right direction.”

Recent events have meant cricket has become mired in allegations of racism. But Lawrence, not the average cricket president, is part of something of reckoning in the sport.

After attending a state school that did not offer cricket in Tredworth, he made his debut for Gloucestershire at 17 and went on to take 625 wickets at the Shire as a fast bowler. When his cricketing career was cut short by a knee injury, Lawrence bought a nightclub (Dojo) and became a bodybuilder.

Lawrence said: “I don’t want to be just sitting in the president’s box drinking gin and tonics and putting a blazer on. That just isn’t me. I want to be a voice for those kids in the inner city – we want to give them more opportunity because there’s a pool of talent out there.”

As president, Lawrence will be involved in community programmes and mentoring the club’s academy teams – strengthening Gloucestershire’s ties with the city they play in.

He hopes that his return to cricket might contribute to the reinvention of the sport.

Lawrence said: “I love the game, it’s still in my blood and it’s always in my blood and I’m proud to do the job, I hope I can achieve something and leave some form of mark.”

Main photo: Gloucestershire Cricket

Read more: Gloucestershire sets sights on winning as season begins 

Listen to the latest Bristol24/7 Behind the Headlines podcast:

Our top newsletters emailed directly to you
I want to receive (tick as many as you want):
I'm interested in (for future reference):
Marketing Permissions

Bristol24/7 will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

We will only use your information in accordance with our privacy policy, which can be viewed here - www.bristol247.com/privacy-policy/ - you can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected]. We will treat your information with respect.


We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related articles

You've read %d articles this month
Consider becoming a member today
Independent journalism
is needed now More than ever
You've read %d articles this month
Consider becoming a member today
You've read %d articles this month
Consider becoming a member today
Join the Better
Business initiative
You've read %d articles this month
Consider becoming a member today
* prices do not include VAT
You've read %d articles this month
Consider becoming a member today
Enjoy delicious local
exclusive deals
You've read %d articles this month
Consider becoming a member today
Wake up to the latest
Get the breaking news, events and culture in your inbox every morning