A special crown green bowling competition will be taking place once again this year in memory of a man who died of bowel cancer. 

Liam Sykes, 27, of Brockholes, will be holding a bowling tournament in memory of his father Paul who passed away in January 2016 aged 45. 

Paul was a keen bowler himself, starting at 11-years-old. He played the sport all his life. He represented several local clubs and had played for Brockholes since 2008.

It will be the fifth time the competition has taken place. Last year the event was cancelled due to the Coronavirus. It will be held at Brockholes crown green bowling club. A date for the event is yet to be confirmed. 

The whole family are keen bowlers, with Paul’s father David, 77, still running the bar at the club. Paul’s wife Yeolande, 56, has also previously played bowls and son Liam also takes part.

The prize pot for the competition is £2,000 with the winner of the tournament receiving £500 and the runner-up £250. The semi-finalists receive £150, the quarter finalists £100 and if you reach the last 16 you still go away with £50. In essence if you win two games you will win some money. It is only £20 to to take part in the event.

The late Paul Sykes

On why the tournament is special and how they first started it, Yeolande said: “The first competition was a 32 place invitational cup. It was mainly people who were close to my husband who played in the first one. As the years have gone by we have tried to get a higher calibre of player involved. This year we have 64 bowlers taking part. 

“It’s fantastic to see for the first time three ladies taking part in the competition too.” 

The event is going to be a fundraiser for Weston Park Hospital which cared for Paul before he died. The hospital is based in Sheffield and so far the family have raised £7,500 through various fundraising events.

Yeolande added: “We have raised a lot of money but we would like to make it to £10,000. So whilst the entrance fees and things go up to making the prize pot, we will be doing a raffle and various other things on the day and any money raised from that will be donated to the hospital. 

Yeolande and Liam Sykes

“They aren’t just a hospital, they do research and have trials to test new drugs for treatments. Obviously the money raised is so important because it can help to prolong someone’s life.”

Paul and Yeolande were married for 21 years. The family have held the tournament since 2016 but started to host it around April 30 – which is their wedding anniversary – from 2017. However this year due to Covid restrictions they are having to move it to some time in September or October.

Yeolande added: “We usually have it around our wedding anniversary but due to Covid we were unable to this year. It’s the end of the bowling season when we are hosting it so it will be interesting to see if we raise any more money. Obviously I’d like it to be when our anniversary is but it depends if the club can fit us in, in April.”