Norman Gifford MBE has been made an Honorary Life Vice President of Worcestershire County Cricket Club in recognition of his sterling service spanning 60 years.
He was confirmed as a VP at the club’s AGM as his two year term as President of the club came to an end and members approved Cecil Duckworth CBE as his successor.
Mr Gifford – Worcestershire’s County Championship winning captain of 1974 – is already a Honorary Life Member of the County.
Worcestershire Chairman Fanos Hira paid tribute to Gifford who joined the County staff 61 years ago and ended his career with 2,068 first class wickets and 15 England Test caps.
Mr Hira said: “A President can only stand for two years, which is a real shame, because I think Norman Gifford has been a brilliant and an excellent President of our club.
“He has not been in any way scared to challenge the Board and he has been a fantastic ambassador for our club for approaching 60 years.
“I’d like to thank Norman on behalf of the Board and the club.”
Mr Hira is looking forward to the County benefitting from the experience of Cecil Duckworth in his role as President.
He said: “Cecil has achieved a great deal, not just as an engineer and a businessman but perhaps more importantly what he has done for the community and sport.
“I think it is important we recognise that goes beyond developing the (Worcester) Warriors.
“John Elliott (former Chairman) told me about Cecil’s involvement in signing Glenn McGrath and his role in developing the Basil D’Oliveira Stand.
“We are very fortunate and very lucky to have you as President and we look forward to your wise counsel and sharing some of your experiences and what you’ve learnt from rugby when there was an influx of cash from revised rights deals and perhaps what we can learn in cricket against a similar backdrop.”
The contributions of outgoing Chairman and Vice-Chairman, Stephen Taylor and former first team captain Tim Curtis respectively, were also recognised as they were confirmed as Honorary Life Members of Worcestershire CCC.
Mr Taylor is stepping down after four years in the role.
Mr Hira said: “In the last four years, Stephen has had to deal with a lot of things. The Board has had to deal with lots of things.
“Most of it was expected, some of it wasn’t, and I don’t think we should under-estimate what has been achieved during the past four years.
“We’ve seen debt levels fall by £800,000, the visibility of the business is as good as its been, and the kind of culture here is as good as it’s been – and we’ve won a trophy.
“That is a reasonable legacy so thank you Steve for everything you’ve done.
“Tim (Curtis) is hugely impressive on and off the pitch.
“He has greatly assisted the club, especially leading the cricket steering committee over the last year.
“We look forward to his continued club involvement. “