Huddersfield crown green bowler Jack Dyson lifted the Isle of Man Bowls Festival Cup in 2019, one of the most prestigious in the sport.
But with the competition cancelled in 2020 and 2021 he remains the reigning champion and must wait until next year to defend his title.
Jack – nicknamed Hoover because of his surname – took home £3,000 in prizemoney for his victory but what he couldn’t take home was the trophy. It’s worth a cool £40,000 and hasn’t left the Isle of Man since 1989.
Jack said: “I won the Isle of Man Festival in 2019 however due to Covid they’ve had to cancel the competition now for two years running so I haven’t had a chance yet to defend my title.
“The trophy stays on the island as it’s made from solid silver and is valued at something like £40,000. You just have 10 minutes with the trophy for photos and then it goes back under lock and key.
“It’s the biggest competition in terms of prizemoney for sure. It’s the biggest thing I’ve won in my career and something I am very proud of.”
Jack plays in the Huddersfield League First Division and Mirfield League First Division for Thongsbridge. He also plays for Meltham in various competitions too on a local level.
He’s also represented Yorkshire at county level since 2009. The team won the British county championship against Shropshire (also known as the Crossfield Cup) in 2017.
Born in Linthwaite, Jack, 32, started his career at a young age. He got into the sport after going with big sister Stella to watch his grandparents, Colin and Margaret Beaumont and Brian and Nancy Dyson, play.
Jack said: “Me and my sister used to ride our bikes around the green edge and eventually my grandfather said to come and have a go.
“He handed me a few jacks and spare bowls and I used to play on the green edge. Both sets of grandparents didn’t play competitively, they just played with their friends and enjoyed the social side.
“So that’s where my love of the sport came from and I think I can say I’ve done quite well from it.”
Jack, a joiner by trade, has won around 25 competitions so far but his career has stalled due to Covid-19. Not only has the sport been disrupted but he caught the virus himself and is still suffering the after effects.
“I had Covid last October and I still haven’t properly recovered,” he said. “I have that Long Covid and everything still aches a bit and I feel tired and don’t have the same energy levels.
“We went into lockdown in March of 2020 when our summer season was about to start. All the leagues were cancelled and so were the various tournaments and so it was as if we didn’t get going to be honest.”
Jack wants to help give the sport a new image and has been impressed with the Huddersfield League’s ambition to get more young people into bowling. He also thinks it’s great that there are so many players in the Yorkshire squad from the town.
“The current Yorkshire team has about 10 players out of a 28-man squad who are from Huddersfield. It’s a great honour to represent the white rose county.
“The Huddersfield association, in particular, is good at trying to attract new people. Adam Douglas (president of the Huddersfield & District Bowling Association) has really put a lot of work in to try and build more interest in the sport for the younger generation, which is a credit to him and the league.”