Lewis exits Gloucestershire with award and shirt tribute

Gloucestershire have paid tribute to their former captain Jon Lewis by retiring his number 18 shirt.

The gesture marks the end of the bowler’s 17-year spell at the club which included the most successful period in their history.

The 36-year-old, who has signed a two-year contract with Surrey, led the attack to seven major one-day titles from 1999 to 2004 and also represented England.

Speaking at the county’s annual awards night, Lewis said he was surprised and honoured at the tribute.

He said: “I think only Jack Russell has been honoured in that way by the club before so I feel very proud. I have never thought of the shirt as my own and have tried to earn it again with every performance.”

Lewis’s one-day shirt will hang in the pavilion at the County Ground in Bristol.

Other players to be honoured during the annual presentation for both Gloucestershire’s senior and junior teams included Will Gidman who was named Player’s Player of the Year.

For Gidman it was recognition of a memorable first professional season at the club he represented as a junior.

Joining from Durham, Gidman became the first player since Phil Simmons in 1996 to secure the highly sought-after all-rounder’s modern double of 1000 runs and 50 wickets in the LV County Championship.

The 26-year-old brother of Gloucestershire skipper Alex Gidman, never played a Championship game for Durham. He said: “It has been a special season for me. I tried to put achieving the double out of my mind and just concentrate on each game, but now it is an achievement I am very proud of.

“My years at Durham coincided with them having a very strong side and I was pretty low down the pecking order. Gloucestershire have given me a great opportunity and I owe a lot to the team and the coaching staff.”

Other players to receive awards on the night included Chris Taylor, who was named Batsman of the Season for scoring 1139 first-class runs, Jon Lewis who was Bowler of the Season and wicketkeeper Richard Coughtrie, 23, who was named Young Player of the Season.

The youthfulness throughout the squad was demonstrated by the presentation of county caps to eight players who made their first-class debuts this season.

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