Willie Wood MBE, the most capped Scottish Commonwealth Games athlete of all time will make his last international appearance in the outdoor game at the British Isles Bowling Championships hosted at Sighthill in Edinburgh this week.
The legendary bowler who competed in a record eighth Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year, has won two gold, one silver and one bronze medals which ranks him an impressive eighth equal on the list of most successful Commonwealth Games athletes of all time. He was also accumulated a record number of world championship medals over an international career spanning almost five decades.
He has decided to retire from the game at the top, choosing the annual British Championships which will see the best bowlers from across the UK compete for British titles. Only hosted in Scotland every four years, it is a fitting way for the 73 year old from Gifford, East Lothian to conclude his outdoor international career on home soil.
“All good things come to an end and whilst it was a very hard decision to make I knew in myself that I wanted to bow out at the top of my game, as a world champion.
“The governing body has placed a lot of faith in me over the years and selected me to represent my country at so many tournaments and I am very grateful to them for that, though I feel that I have never let anyone down. I will miss travelling to all the far flung places I have been to and all the people I have met all over the world, my sport has given me a lot of opportunities and some great memories.
“I have fulfilled most of my ambitions and I will continue playing at the nationals, both indoor and outdoor. I still have a final ambition of achieving a title my father won but has so far eluded me, to become the national singles champion and I might do it yet!”
Recognising Willie’s immense contribution to Team Scotland, Commonwealth Games Scotland Michael Cavanagh said: “Willie is a legend within Team Scotland and has shown all of us just what is possible when you are dedicated to your sport and keep yourself fit.However to go to eight Commonwealth Games is a significant achievement and one that is unlikely to be surpassed by any other athlete.
“We wish Willie all the best for the future and hope he will be in Glasgow in 2014 to cheer on his teammates.”