David Lawrence: Former England and Gloucestershire fast bowler diagnosed with motor neurone disease | cricket news

Former England and Gloucestershire fast bowler David Lawrence has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

The first British-born black man to play for England, Lawrence appeared in five Tests and a single one-day international for his country between 1988 and 1992.

He claimed 18 Test wickets in matches against New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka, while he posted figures of 4-67 in his solitary ODI against the West Indies.

Gloucestershire, where Lawrence is the current chairman, confirmed that the 60-year-old was diagnosed with MND earlier this month following a series of tests.

Lawrence, affectionately known as ‘Syd’, was born and raised in Gloucestershire and played 280 matches for his home county between 1981 and 1997, taking 625 wickets.

Lawrence played five Tests and a single one-day international for England between 1988 and 1992.

Gloucestershire chief executive Will Brown told the county website: “Everyone at the club is devastated to hear the news of David Lawrence and his MND diagnosis.

“David is an icon of the game, a club legend and a pioneer as the first British-born black player to play for England.

“More than that, he is the best person, kind, caring, thoughtful and an inspiration to us all here in Gloucestershire.

“Working with him since he has been president of the club has been an incredible and humbling experience: he has opened doors that we didn’t even know were there, he has helped us learn and become friends with many of us. That friendship is very something special and which I know we all appreciate.

“I know I speak on behalf of everyone associated with the club in sending all our love to David, (his wife) Gaynor and all their family and friends.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement on

The Professional Cricketers’ Association will also continue to support Lawrence.

Ian Thomas, PCA general manager of member services. “David has been an inspiration throughout his cricketing and post-cricketing career and we have no doubt that he will continue to fight and show the determination in him to fight MND.

“The PCA and the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, the players’ charity, will be here for David and, more importantly, his family, offering the best possible support.”

Sky Sports will celebrate the life of Rob Burrow on Friday night when Leeds Rhinos take on Leigh Leopards in Super League.

Friday is Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Day, with the Super League match live between Leeds Rhinos and Leigh Leopards to celebrate the life of Leeds legend Rob Burrow, who has died aged 41 on June 2 after suffering from MND.

Sky Sports will invite fans to make contributions to the Motor Neurone Disease Association during coverage, via an on-screen QR code.

Every day six people are diagnosed with motor neurone disease and every day six people die from the disease. There is no cure. The money raised as part of the MND Awareness game hopes to change that.

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