Bowls England regrets to announce the passing of former Junior International Team Manager, Hedley Bowen.
Hedley was appointed Manager in 2011, and led the team to comprehensive victories in the British Isles series in both 2013 and 2014. He also provided support to the Commonwealth Games squad for Glasgow 2014.
Current England star Jamie Chestney, who was made captain of the junior team by Hedley for the 2011 series and worked closely with him ahead of Glasgow, paid tribute to him.
Jamie said: “Hedley was a very intelligent man and a great influence on my career. I learnt such a lot from him, especially regarding the psychology of the sport. Whilst hugely competitive, he was also great to just have a beer and a chat with. I’m very sorry to hear of his loss.”
In addition to Jamie, several other members of the junior teams managed by Hedley have moved on to higher honours including Jamie’s fellow performance squad members Sam Tolchard, Louis Ridout and Jamie Walker.
Hedley however was not just influential on the international stage.
He was a member of the Bowls England Development Committee for several years, and combined this role with tireless work for his own club, Royal Wootton Bassett BC (where he was made a life member) and also Bowls Wiltshire.
On the playing front, Hedley won many county honours and narrowly missed out in the final of the National Triples in 1989.
Hedley hailed from Llanelli and began playing bowls in 1971 in Llanelli before work brought him across the Severn Bridge – and whilst he was fully committed to England on the bowls green there was no doubting his Welsh heritage should the two countries meet on the rugby pitch.
Our thoughts are with wife Carol and his family at this time.