David Lawrence Diagnosed with RareDisease

David “Syd” Lawrence, the former Gloucestershire and England fast bowler, has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND). This announcement was made by Gloucestershire on Friday, adding Lawrence to the list of sportspeople affected by this debilitating disease, following the recent death of former rugby league player Rob Burrow.

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Lawrence, a powerfully built fast bowler, made a significant impact in his career with five Test appearances for England and 280 appearances for Gloucestershire, taking 625 wickets for the club. In 2022, he became Gloucestershire’s first black president, marking a historic milestone.

Career and Contributions

Lawrence’s career, although promising, was cut short due to a severe injury. He suffered a career-ending injury at the age of 28 when he fractured his kneecap while bowling against New Zealand in Wellington. Despite attempting a comeback five years later, playing four first-class games for Gloucestershire, he eventually retired and turned to competitive bodybuilding.

Beyond his playing days, Lawrence made notable contributions off the field. In 2021, he publicly discussed his experiences of racism at Gloucestershire, leading to an unreserved apology from the club. He later played a pivotal role in the African-Caribbean Engagement Programme in Bristol, fostering inclusivity and community engagement.

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Reactions and Support

Will Brown, Gloucestershire’s outgoing chief executive, expressed profound sadness at the news of Lawrence’s diagnosis. He highlighted Lawrence’s iconic status in the game, his role as a trailblazer, and his significant contributions as club president.

“David is an icon of the game, a club legend and a trailblazer as the first British-born Black player to play for England. More than that he is the best of people, kind, loving, considerate and an inspiration to all of us here at Gloucestershire,” Brown said. “Working with him since he has been club president has been both an awesome and humbling experience – he has opened doors we didn’t even know were there, helped us learn and become a friend to so many of us. That friendship is a very special thing and one I know we all cherish.”

Ian Thomas, managing director of member services at the Professional Cricketers’ Association, also expressed the organization’s deep shock at Lawrence’s diagnosis. He assured that the PCA and the Professional Cricketers’ Trust would provide the best possible support to Lawrence and his family during this challenging time.

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“The PCA is in deep shock at the tragic news David Lawrence has recently received. David has been an inspiration throughout his cricket and post-cricket career and we have no doubt he will continue to fight and show his determination to fight MND,” Thomas said.

Lawrence’s diagnosis has brought the cricketing community together, reflecting the high regard in which he is held and the widespread admiration for his contributions both on and off the field. The support from his peers and the broader cricket community will undoubtedly be a source of strength as he faces this new challenge.

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David "Syd" Lawrence, the former Gloucestershire and England fast bowler, has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND). This announcement was made by Gloucestershire on Friday, adding Lawrence to the list of sportspeople affected by this debilitating disease, following the recent death of former rugby league player Rob Burrow.

Lawrence, a powerfully built fast bowler, made a significant impact in his career with five Test appearances for England and 280 appearances for Gloucestershire, taking 625 wickets for the club. In 2022, he became Gloucestershire's first black president, marking a historic milestone.

Career and Contributions

Lawrence's career, although promising, was cut short due to a severe injury. He suffered a career-ending injury at the age of 28 when he fractured his kneecap while bowling against New Zealand in Wellington. Despite attempting a comeback five years later, playing four first-class games for Gloucestershire, he eventually retired and turned to competitive bodybuilding.

Beyond his playing days, Lawrence made notable contributions off the field. In 2021, he publicly discussed his experiences of racism at Gloucestershire, leading to an unreserved apology from the club. He later played a pivotal role in the African-Caribbean Engagement Programme in Bristol, fostering inclusivity and community engagement.

Reactions and Support

Will Brown, Gloucestershire's outgoing chief executive, expressed profound sadness at the news of Lawrence's diagnosis. He highlighted Lawrence's iconic status in the game, his role as a trailblazer, and his significant contributions as club president.

"David is an icon of the game, a club legend and a trailblazer as the first British-born Black player to play for England. More than that he is the best of people, kind, loving, considerate and an inspiration to all of us here at Gloucestershire," Brown said. "Working with him since he has been club president has been both an awesome and humbling experience - he has opened doors we didn't even know were there, helped us learn and become a friend to so many of us. That friendship is a very special thing and one I know we all cherish."

Ian Thomas, managing director of member services at the Professional Cricketers' Association, also expressed the organization's deep shock at Lawrence's diagnosis. He assured that the PCA and the Professional Cricketers' Trust would provide the best possible support to Lawrence and his family during this challenging time.

"The PCA is in deep shock at the tragic news David Lawrence has recently received. David has been an inspiration throughout his cricket and post-cricket career and we have no doubt he will continue to fight and show his determination to fight MND," Thomas said.

Lawrence's diagnosis has brought the cricketing community together, reflecting the high regard in which he is held and the widespread admiration for his contributions both on and off the field. The support from his peers and the broader cricket community will undoubtedly be a source of strength as he faces this new challenge.

Stay updated with all the cricketing action, follow Cricadium on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram