Michael Kirkpatrick | Obituary

11th May, 2022

Michael Kirkpatrick 1935 – 2022


Michael was born and raised in Wetheral, Cumberland in 1935, he learned to play bowls at the local bowling club where his love of the game was born. Michael moved to Newcastle Upon Tyne in the late 1950’s and met his wife Kathleen and married in 1959. Michael played at a number of clubs (MPNI, Angus, Northern Gas and Gosforth). Michael worked for the Civil Service and represented them in a number of competitions, winning many of them.

Michael was given the status of honorary life member at both Wetheral BC and Gosforth BC as a mark of respect and as acknowledgement of his devotion to bowls.

Michael was at the peak of his bowling career in the early 1970’s gaining the ultimate accolade of being selected and going on to represent England in the 1973, 74 and 75 International Series. He claimed to be “possibly the last England international to play with Lignum vitae woods”. He was number two in the rink, a position he regarded as being critical. He loved playing at Mortlake, the predecessor to Worthing.

In later life and despite a number of back, neck and heart operations Michael retained a strong interest in Lawn bowls. Following issues with his right hand Michael adapted to play with his left hand.

Possessing an almost unique insight into the game Michael had a razor sharp memory which he would use to fascinate and entertain in equal measure, recalling intricate details of the game over the last sixty years, this included reciting the wind direction and how it affected his bowls and stance in the final of the 1966 Northumberland County four bowl Singles competition that he went onto win.

His love for bowls, the traditions of the Gosforth Bowling club, and the scent of the roses that surround the bowling greens endured throughout. His presence, knowledge, strength of character, wit and wisdom will be sorely missed by club and county and especially his bowling friends.

Major Achievements

England International 1973/74/75

EBA National Double Fours Winner 1973/74

EBA National Pairs Runner Up 1972/73

Northumberland Singles Winner 1966 / 1970

In remembrance of Michael, his family would like to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation and so would respectfully request donations. If you wish to donate to please see here.

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