CENTRAL Wendouree’s Bill Crawford was once the town expert on bowls – hosting 3BA’s The Bowls Show for about 20 years before it finished in the early 1990s.
“It was when talk back had just started – so I got to interview bowlers from all over the country,” Crawford said.
“And I did. I interviewed all of the best – bowlers like John Snell, who was one of the best in the world back then.
“It was the most nervous I had ever been. I did so much research he told me I’d brought up things he’d forgotten he’d done.”
Crawford joined Central Bowls Club around the age of 28 and then moved to Central Wendouree when the two clubs merged.
The 79-year-old retired pharmacist was president of Central twice, match committee for Central Wendouree and has helped run country week for the last 20 years.
Crawford now plays in Central Wendouree’s division three pennant side as well as two threes tournaments during the week.
Among all of Crawford’s achievements as bowler, he looks back on winning the Ballarat fours as one of his greatest highlights.
“I’m the third generation in my family to win those championships,” he said.
“I was part of a division three team participating and I think we were the first division three team ever to win. I think we’d still be the only one to win.”
After winning the fours competition, they went on to reach the quarter finals of the Victorian championships.
After 50 years involved in the game, Crawford says what he enjoys most is the social aspect of the game.
“It’s the most social game you could ever play, and it doesn’t matter what age you are,” he said. “When I was young and I started playing, I was used to calling everyone Mr, but in bowls it’s all on a first name basis, it was the hardest thing to call everyone by their first names.”
To this day, Crawford enjoys the casual aspect of the game and says he wouldn’t like to return to playing in division one because it’s too serious.
“There are too many rules in bowls nowadays,” he said. “But I still like to win, everyone likes to win.”