Scottish bowler from Bainsford BC lands world gold for England

Bowler Robert Stirling has helped England to a gold medal in world bowls this month, while on tour in China.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 25th March 2019, 4:17 pm
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 4:38 pm
Robert Stirling (second from left) and his team-mates from China.
Robert Stirling (second from left) and his team-mates from China.

The 31-year-old, who honed his game on the green in Bainsford, was part of England’s three teams who headed east to compete in three competitions in China. Each team won one event, with Robert’s rink coming top in the One Belt One Road World Invitation and a bronze at the Tiger Bowls World Invitation in Hong Kong.

He told The Falkirk Herald: “Bowls is quite popular out there - there are more players than you’d think.

“The competitions were taken there to raise further awareness and it was an amazing experience to get out there and play bowls at that level, and within a different culture.

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Robert Stirling - bowler

“The tournaments showcased the sport and I was very pleased to be involved.”

Robert moved south seven years ago initially to become general manager at Macclesfield Town football club but took his passion for the game with him.

He now plays from Bolton flat green bowling club which helped his selection for international honours via his county team, Lancashire.

His is only one of three ‘flat green’ clubs in the north west and he explained: “In bowls your international team is where your club is based, not your nationality – so it was a bit of a strange feeling representing England for a patriotic Scotsman like myself!”

He does however, have a Scottish call-up to his name though, and was involved in the first ever Scotland under-16s team while at Bainsford before going on to this latest international success.

“It is an annual event so hopefully winning gold – and the bronze earlier on the tour – will stand me in good stead for further call-ups for other tournaments and maybe a return to China in the future.”

Alongside him on the winning team was Jason Parkinson (Lancashire), Mark Plume (Hertfordshire) and Ashley Caress (Lincolnshire). The tour began in Hong Kon before moving to Zhuhai and then finally to Shenzhen on picturesque outdoor greens.