Tribute to David Bryant

Mr Bowls – David Bryant MBE, CBE

There was some sad news for the sport as one of the games most famous figures David Bryant sadly passed away aged 88.

Ask a member of the general public to name a bowler and you would get good odds on the reply being “Francis Drake” or “the fella with the pipe.”

It is often said Bryant was the greatest bowler that the sport has seen. A career that boasted 5 Commonwealth Games gold medals, 11 World Championship medals and 9 World Indoor Championship titles – which comprised of three singles and six pairs with Tony Allcock OBE. In total he won sixteen national titles while representing Somerset which included three successful defences of the singles title. In 1969 he was awarded an MBE for services to bowls and in 1980 he landed a CBE again for services to bowls.

During his career Bryant was cast as the face of bowls with the familiar sight of him smoking his pipe during a game and in fact bizarrely in 1986 he was named Pipe Smoker of the Year.

His standing in the game was emphasised recently when he was voted into Bowls England’s “All Star” rink in the skips role beating the likes of Tony Alcock OBE, Andy Thomson MBE and Peter Line.

The debt the sport owes David Bryant is unfathomable and the word legend isn’t enough to describe “Mr Bowls.”

RIP and many thanks from everyone at Bowls Durham