Former England cricketer Syd Lawrence diagnosed with motor neurone disease

The 60-year-old former England international, who earned five Test caps for his country, was diagnosed with MND earlier this month following a series of tests. Credit: ITV News West Country

Former England cricket player David 'Syd' Lawrence has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club has confirmed.

The 60-year-old former England international, who earned five Test caps for his country, was diagnosed earlier this month following a series of tests.

Gloucester born and bred, Syd - as he is affectionately known - played 280 matches for his home county between 1981 and 1997 and took 625 wickets during his career at Nevil Road.

He was was unveiled as Club President in April 2022 and despite his MND diagnosis, has said he wishes to see out the entirety of his presidency at Gloucestershire.

A statement from the club said: "David and his wife, Gaynor, are hugely appreciative for the unwavering support they have received and will do in the future from friends and family.

"While devastated at the diagnosis, David will fight the disease all the way and has expressed his thanks to the Club, the PCA and the Hornsby Trust, for all their support during this extremely difficult time."

Syd Lawrence playing for Gloucestershire in the 80s.

Will Brown, outgoing Chief Executive at Gloucestershire Cricket, said: “Everyone at the Club is devastated to hear of the news from David Lawrence and his MND diagnosis.

“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.

“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.

“I know I speak for everyone associated with the Club in sending all our love to David, Gaynor and all of their family and friends.”

Syd has previously spoken to ITV News West Country about the need to tackle racism in cricket.

Ian Thomas, Managing Director of Member Services at the PCA, said: “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.

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

Syd's family has asked for privacy while he comes to terms with the diagnosis.