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League's Big Debt Of Gratitude

posted Apr 16, 2020, 2:09 AM by Malcolm Fletcher   [ updated Apr 17, 2020, 11:20 AM ]

The League, its member clubs and bowlers will join forces to say a massive thank you to the Shropshire man who revolutionised bowls results systems for leagues all over Britain.

Mike Beckett, the man whose computerised innovation allows bowlers to input details on line and see scores, results and updated league tables within seconds of matches finishing, has announced his retirement.

Whitchurch-based Mike - who is pictured above (centre) when guest of honour at the League's annual presentation dinner in January - has decided, after a recent health scare that led to him being taken to Shrewsbury Hospital, that enough is enough.

“I shall be 77 next month and have decided now is the time to hand over the system to another person who has both youth and experience to take the system forward,” he said.

Mike stepped down as County President in February after bravely battling through a year that saw him lose his beloved wife Mary to cancer – and then was taken ill himself.

“I had been in self isolation since March 11 with coronavirus symptoms, which got worse, and a week later I was admitted to hospital,” he explained.

“Thankfully I tested negative for the virus, but I did have pneumonia. After five days in hospital, I am now recuperating at home and gradually improving.

“These recent events, and the suspension of the bowling season, have provided a time for reflection.

“The Bowling Results System was originally set up in 2011, when a couple of leagues trialled it.

“In 2020 there are now over 160 leagues across the country who are using the system.”

He has notified all 130 summer leagues that use it - including Mid Shropshire - of his decision to step back and has been overwhelmed by the messages of thanks he has received.

“I am very pleased to announce that I shall be working with Damon Naile over the next 12 months during a transition period.

“Damon is very experienced in the field of databases and programming, as well as being a fellow crown bowler.

“He has been using the system since 2014 and is also serving as the match secretary for the Coventry League."

But Mike, who started his computer work by creating a website for his then club Whixall, is still working hard for a number of Shropshire leagues as they try to rescue at least part of this year’s season – if the lockdown restrictions are eased in time.

Mid Shropshire general secretary Malcolm Fletcher said: "The League and bowls in general owes Mike a huge debt for making the results side of things so much easier and interesting.

"We were one of the first leagues to get on board with the superb system and officers enjoyed their set-up meetings with Mike and Mary - such good company.

"I'm sure the League will be presenting him with a special retirement gift as a token of our sincere thanks for all he has done for us."