1. ITV Report

Somerset cricketer Kirby forced to retire through injury

Somerset fast bowler Steve Kirby, who has been involved with first class cricket for 20 years, has been forced to retire with immediate effect because of an ongoing shoulder injury.

The 36-year-old started his cricketing career when he left school at the age of 16 initially on a YTS scheme at Leicestershire, where he joined the staff in 1998. He then moved to Yorkshire where he made his debut in 2001, where he played a significant part in winning the County Championship, their first for 33 years.

That winter Steve was selected to be part of the first ever England Academy and further represented England Lions on many more overseas tours.

Steve moved to join Gloucestershire in 2005 where he enjoyed six seasons before signing for Somerset before the 2011 season.

His best season was in 2011 when he took 53 wickets, including his Somerset best of 6 for 115 against Lancashire, the county where he was born.

Somerset's Steve Kirby (right) celebrates taking the wicket of Nottinghamshire's Riki Wessels in July 2011. Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

It has come as a real blow to me to have to retire from the game that I have been involved with for the past 20 years of my life.

It's been a difficult winter having gone through two operations. Dealing with setbacks is always part of professional sport but sometimes no matter how hard you try to recover, things are just taken out of your control.

I may be retiring from first class cricket but I hope to remain involved with the game at some level in a coaching capacity as I would love to be able to give something back to this wonderful game that has been so good to me over the years.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people that have helped me through my career, I would like to mention them by name but there have been so many to whom I am very grateful, and in particular the Somerset supporters who have made me feel so welcome in my time here at the club.

– Steve Kirby
Steve Kirby playing for Gloucestershire against Sussex at Hove in 2009. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

It is always sad when someone like Steve, who has spent the whole of his working life in first class cricket is forced to retire through injury.

He has made a great contribution to Somerset and he will certainly be missed around the dressing room. We would like to thank Steve for all that he has done during his time at Somerset and wish him well for the future.

– Dave Nosworthy, Director of Cricket, Somerset
Steve Kirby celebrates Yorkshire's win over Glamorgan which clinched their first county championship for 33 years in 2001. Credit: Gareth Copley/PA