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Gloucestershire apologise unreservedly to David 'Syd' Lawrence over racist incident

Lawrence recounted a banana skin being left outside his door by a team-mate in 1981

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
David 'Syd' Lawrence won five Test caps for England

David 'Syd' Lawrence won five Test caps for England  •  ALLSPORT

Gloucestershire have apologised "unreservedly" to David "Syd" Lawrence after he recounted experiencing racism from a team-mate during his time at the club.
Lawrence, who played five Tests for England between 1988 and 1992 before a horrific injury nearly ended his career, was one of a number of black cricketers to open up about racist abuse and prejudice within the English game during Sky Sports' documentary "You Guys Are History", which aired during the fourth Test against India at The Oval.
"I remember my first away game with Gloucestershire," Lawrence said. "Somebody knocks on my door in the evening. I look, and one of my team-mates has left a banana skin there.
"And then subsequently that person, I have to play with for the next 13-14 years. When I was in that room and that happened to me, I said 'I'm going to be harder, tougher than ever - nobody is ever going to push me around'."
Gloucestershire said in a club statement that the club had contacted Lawrence "immediately after the transmission of the programme" and that he had met both David Jones, the club chair, and Will Brown, the chief executive, to "discuss the incident in detail".
The statement added that Lawrence had also discussed "another historical incident where he was racially abused by the crowd at an away fixture, but this was never investigated by the club".
"The behaviour and attitudes David experienced were as unacceptable then as they are today," the statement said. "The club therefore wishes to apologise unreservedly to David for all the hurt he has experienced, both as a Gloucestershire player and as part of the wider cricketing network.
"The club would also like to apologise to any player or employee of the club who may have experienced similar prejudices during their time at Gloucestershire. We are determined that no one should have to experience such behaviours and we will continue to welcome feedback, from players past and present, in developing a welcoming and inclusive environment.
"We would like to thank David for his openness, honesty and courage in coming forward and speaking up."

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98