Gloucestershire’s new president David Lawrence won five Test caps from 1998-92. After he suffered knee injury, he became a bodybuilder. “I met the outgoing president and you couldn’t have two more different people to be honest,” chuckles David Lawrence.
“I’m not going to be a gin and tonic person with a blazer on - that’s not going to be me”. He is Gloucestershire’s first black president and says he has a great responsibility. “It’s a big responsibility," he says.
"To be the first person born in England of Afro-Caribbean heritage to play for this county, to then play for England, and now to be the first black president of Gloucestershire is a big deal”. He opened up about receiving racial abuse from Gloucestershire team-mate.
“I had mentioned it before but I think it just got swept under the carpet. It was very hard talking about it because when you talk about something 40 years ago, it brings back those uncomfortable memories. It was tough at the time and it was very emotional, like therapy.
So, it was very tough at the time, but I'm glad I did it. There's no doubt about it – people need to know that's what went on”.
Lawrence received an apology from the club and got offered a role of president.
“Of course I had qualms - I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.
You have to sit down and honestly think about it and make sure you’re taking it for the right reasons and speak to family and friends and once I did that it was down to me to make the decision. And I made the decision that yes I want to go for it.
“If we keep turning down roles then where do we start? You have to start somewhere. That’s my biggest gripe. If you don’t take the role then don’t moan when there are no black presidents. You have to take the opportunity when it arises, embrace it and do it your own way”.
“Most cricket clubs have their set way and that’s it really. We have an opportunity to change that. That’s what it’s about”.