An ex-DJ and his former footballer friend have swapped their high-energy pursuits for the more sedate pastime of bowls – in a bid to win Commonwealth gold.
Andy Denton, 39, from Wetherby, and Graham Poucher, 34, from Morley in Leeds, have been selected to represent Yorkshire after taking up flat green bowling in October 2012.
They’re now eyeing a place on England’s 2018 Commonwealth Games team in Australia.
Father-of-one Graham, who has played in Ibiza, said: “Our lives and work have taken us to some strange and exciting places, but nothing compares to representing your country.
“But with a collection of three bad knees between us, we needed something we could challenge ourselves with, without the need for sprinting, jumping or jogging. So the choice was obvious – bowls.
“It’s a bit different to playing tracks in nightclubs in the Balearics, but the challenge is always to be the best and we feel the sport is ready to be reborn.”
The pair work for tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire.
Andy, a father-of-two who was once on the books at Charlton Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur, said: “I had an idea several years ago about something like this once I knew my football boots were going to be hung up, and my mates all laughed. Fortunately I found someone as crazy as me and here we are.
“No-one thought we could bring the Tour to Yorkshire and many might think we don’t have a chance at making the Commonwealths, but if we continue to translate that success on to the rink, then we have every chance of a Hollywood ending.”
Having joined Leeds and District Indoor Bowls Club at the John Charles Centre for Sport in late 2012, they began playing high level league bowls as the Sons of Drake. They say the club has been a huge source of support – and have urged others to follow their lead, whatever their age or experience.
For more on Leeds and District Indoor Bowls Club see www.leedsanddistrictibc.com