FORMER Worcestershire captain and the club’s second highest wicket taker Norman Gifford has been named the county’s new President for the next two years.
Gifford, who is still playing an active role at New Road as their spin bowling coach, will succeed Lord King of Lothbury in this prestigious role for 2017 and 2018.
The 76-year-old will officially take over the role after the club’s AGM which is being staged at New Road on March 22.
Gifford skippered Worcestershire to the 1974 County Championship after being a key member of the 1964 and 1965 Championship winning sides.
He amassed 1,615 of his 2,068 first class wickets for Worcestershire – a figure only surpassed by Reg Perks with 2,143 – and won 15 England caps.
Now he is passing on his vast spin bowling knowledge to the likes of Brett D’Oliveira, George Rhodes and Ben Twohig in the current squad.
Worcestershire CEO Tom Scott praised the contribution of Lord King Of Lothbury – the former Governor Of the Bank Of England – and Gifford’s appointment as his successor.
He said: “During the last past two years, the club have been fortunate to be able to tap into the vast business acumen and knowledge of Mervyn (Lord King) who is a lifelong supporter of the club.
“He has been an enthusiastic and willing President who has hosted and contributed to several memorable functions, not least the one where he interviewed Graeme Hick who was back at New Road with the Australian Under-19 side.
“I also know how impressed the lads were with Mervyn and his knowledge of cricket when they attended a function at his home during the away game with Kent last season.
“I’m sure he will remain a willing supporter towards the cricket club and we thank him for all his contributions so far.
“I know that Mervyn used to watch the county when they won the Championship for the first time in 1964 so he will be delighted to be succeeded by a member of that team in Norman Gifford.
“Norman has been contributing to this county for a period spanning over 50 years and I can remember as a supporter him leading us to the 1974 title with the likes of Imran Khan, Vanburn Holder and Basil D’Oliveira in the team.
Gifford said: “This club has always been close to my heart and for me it is a great honour to be asked to be President for the next two years.
“This place has got fantastic memories and my enthusiasm for cricket is as strong as ever and I love coming down to the ground and working with people like Ben and Brett.
“I will do everything I can to ensure it is a successful two years as President and I hope the success I enjoyed as a player will be repeated by this talented squad we have here now,” he added.