The West Midlands was in fact the very first County Association registered with the ESMBA, which had previously only accepted individual clubs. This led on to the co-writing (with 2 others), of the ESMBA's first Constitution based on a county structure. I went on to hold various posts (some simultaneously) within the ESMBA, including National Championship Organiser, the first County Championship organiser, The Umpires Director, Treasurer and Manager of the England Team, a post held from 1900 to 1998. In my International co-ordinator's job I also organised both the World and British Isles Championships. There were many battles and much hard nosed politics taking place over the first 10 years or so of the National Association's development. There is no point in writing it here except to say that the sport won out in the end.
On the playing front I Captained and played in the very first England team in 1986 and stayed as a player until 1989, before becoming the team manager early in 1990. I won the National Triples Championship and was runner up in the Fours but gave up competing at this level on taking up the England Managers post in 1990.
I Started the Magazine Short Mat World in 1992 as part of the English Association's organisation but took over the magazine in 1994 after the ESMBA decided to discontinue publication. The magazine was subsequently renamed Short Mat International and has gone through a number of changes until it became a full colour glossy published 4 times per year. In 1994 I Started a very successful Short Mat Holiday Company to take people away on Short Mat bowling holidays and by 2012 well over 15,000 bowlers have been away on holiday with me.
I would certainly describe myself as a Short Mat fanatic, I think it is one of THE great participation sports. It can be played from under 9 to over 90. How many other sports can boast this? My biggest frustration to date is that the world has yet to discover it and there is a complete lack of any concerted development work by the World Council. I beleive that Short Mat Bowls should be a World sport but with no promotion, the game is spreading at a snails pace. I have certainly enjoyed my years in Short Mat bowls and hope for many more.