Two-time Commonwealth Games medallist Andy Knapper has announced his retirement from international bowls, after a decade of dedication to his country.
Representing England at the Glasgow Games in 2014, Knapper teamed up with John McGuinness, Stuart Airey and Jamie Chestney to secure a silver medal in the Men’s Fours, in addition to partnering Sam Tolchard to a Men’s Pairs bronze.
In 2016, the Berkshire star joined forces with Jamie Walker and Robert Paxton to end England’s 36-year wait for a gold medal in the Men’s Triples at the World Championships in New Zealand.
Following his retirement, Knapper said: “I have been so incredibly lucky and blessed to have had some wonderful opportunities to play around the world with some of my best mates, but today I have made the heart-breaking decision to call time on my international bowls career.
“To get the chance to play at the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Atlantic Games was an absolute honour – I have achieved more than I ever believed I would have.
“I have dedicated 25 years to bowls and played for the last 10 at international level and Elite level, however this takes a huge time commitment and one I feel I cannot give any longer.
Representing his country at six British Isles International Series’ between 2013 and 2018, Knapper was part of the successful England team on four occasions, including three successive titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
“The time has come to step aside and watch this team kick on and deliver medals at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and beyond,” he added.
“I have absolutely no doubt we will have one of the best teams we have ever had going into these games.
“I would like to thank all the management and selectors of the International teams past and present for the opportunities you have given me and I wish you and the team all the best for all forthcoming events.”
Following Knapper’s announcement, John McGuinness, Bowls England’s Performance Director, said: “Andy has been an incredible ambassador of our sport for the last decade and whilst it is disappointing that he has taken the decision to retire from international bowls, I fully respect his decision to focus on other priorities in his life”.
“He is a great character to have had around the team for the last 10 years and will certainly be missed. We shared many great moments together on and off the green, particularly at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“I would like to thank Andy for his commitment over the last decade and wish him all the best for the future.”