Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
New Eltham bowling world champion Andy Thomson awarded MBE
A NEW Eltham world champion was bowled over after scoring an MBE to add to his string of first-class awards.
Andy Thomson, a BBC pundit, is already England’s most decorated bowler and has won the the World Indoor Bowls Championship three times - including claiming last year's title.
But the 57-year-old Charlton Athletic fan says this latest award is his proudest achievement and he enjoyed chatting with the Queen about the sport.
Far from jacking it in, the father-of-two trains around four times a week and aims to be the first player to reach 100 England caps - a goal he is just one year away from achieving.
Speaking about receiving the MBE from the Queen last Wednesday, he told News Shopper: "It was absolutely fantastic.
"I think it is probably my proudest achievement to receive that award - extra special really. "I had a little chat with her about life and bowls in general. There’s actually a bowling green within Windsor so she actually said she had tried it."
The Scotsman, who first moved to Greenwich borough in 1979, plays for Blackheath and Greenwich Bowling Club and says the sport is thriving in the area.
He said: "I think it is doing well here - there are a number of indoor and outdoor clubs.
"I think there is a recruitment drive going on - always trying to get more people to play the sport and many saw it as once for the elderly but it is not just for the elderly - a lot of youngsters are playing.
"Colour bowls came into the market in the last 10 years and colour has added to the sport."
The sporting hero, whose bowl of choice is a green Taylor Ace, encouraged people to take up the sport and gave tips for delivery.
Mr Thomson, also a bowling salesman, said: "Concentration’s obviously important - just being able to have a good technique is important and a sound delivery."
He added he would be happy to help budding bowlers or recommend clubs in the area.