My Best Teacher

PUBLISHED: 16:27 30 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:48 20 February 2013

My Best Teacher

My Best Teacher

Gloucestershire County cricketer Alex Gidman admits the classroom wasn't his favourite place. He was always happiest on the pitch.

My Best Teacher

Gloucestershire County cricketer Alex Gidman admits the classroom wasnt his favourite place. He was always happiest on the pitch.

For as long as he can remember Alex Gidman was always mad about sport.

The 30-year-old batsman, known as Gido, is captain of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club. In recognition of his services, the club has named 2012 as Alexs benefit year with a host of events planned.

He has been captain since 2009 and joined the club in 2002. He has also captained the England A tour of Malaysia and India in 2004.

Alex says his happiest school days were at Wycliffe College in Stonehouse, near Stroud. He started as a 10-year-old and went on to senior school, spending eight years there. Though he remembers his first day vividly.

I was pretty terrified. I remember that long lonely walk across the bridge to the school, he said. I was a day pupil. My mother wouldnt allow us to board.

From Wycliffe he joined the MCC Academy for promising young cricketers and became a professional in 2001.

He was sport mad as a boy. I was more focussed on what went on outside the classroom than inside, said Alex. It would be a struggle to say I enjoyed the academic side of school.

In his final year of junior school (now prep school) he was part of a football team that broke all the records at school. It is one of his most treasured school memories. He has remained good friends with several of those boys from the team.

Alex cannot pinpoint the decisive moment when he started to move towards cricket. Around the age of 14 his cricket started to improve and his interest in rugby and football began to fade.

I was lucky to be handy at all sports. Before I knew it I was 18 and had to make a choice. I didnt want to go to university.

Alex decided to focus on cricket and was accepted at the MCC Academy. I was fortunate enough that Gloucestershire coach John Bracewell thought I had potential and signed me up for the team.

It goes without saying that Alexs favourite teachers taught sport. In junior school there were John Newns and Roger Kirby. Mr Kirby took us for runs and was the first teacher who taught me the physical joys of the demand of day-to-day sport.

In senior school, tutor Mr Simon Bird encouraged and helped Alex with his academic work. I think there were a few teachers who were relieved that I got semi-decent grades. It must be said I got through by the skin of my teeth.

I had a fantastic time at Wycliffe and have a great set of friends. Wycliffe was a fantastic grounding to move on to life. It is only now that I have begun to appreciate it. The school helped a huge amount in my development as a cricketer by putting forward my name to play for the county as a youngster. Their encouragement has made such a difference.

School File

Name: Alex Gidman

Age: 30

Schools: Dean Close School, Cheltenham, Wycliffe, Stonehouse and MCCAcademy Lords

Best subject: Cricket

Favourite school memory: Playing on the football team in the last year of junior school and breaking all the records.

Report most likely to say: Must concentrate harder in class. Wants to play cricket too much

Most important thing learned at school: How to develop long and treasured friendships

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