The 2023 Weston Park Trophy is soon to get underway with this year’s qualifying rounds of the competition taking place across the weekend of March 25 and 26 at Brockholes Bowling Club.

Will Paul Dudley carry his scintillating 2022 form into 2023 and be the first to retain this title? Or will a new name be etched into this much sought-after trophy, making it seven winners in seven years?

The competition has gone from strength to strength since its inaugural running in 2016, following the sad loss of popular local bowler Paul Sykes, who the competition is played in memory of. The event has raised nearly £10,000 for the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity in Sheffield.

Paul played for several clubs throughout his career, including Slaithwaite C&BC, Milnsbridge Liberal Club, Milnsbridge BC, Netherton Con and most recently Brockholes BC, where he also nurtured his son Liam’s breakthrough into the sport.

Paul was a part of the Drayton Cup winning side of 2008, and the side who were runners up in the Henry Taylor County Cup in 2009, not to mention making his Yorkshire debut in 2012 against the Civil Service, in a Yorkshire side that included his son Liam, something that Paul was incredibly proud of. 

Paul was also a huge supporter of the Huddersfield Juniors, helping to bring young bowlers into the game by helping his wife Yeolande run a junior team at Brockholes and by running one of the junior inter district sides as well as being the junior league results secretary. 

Paul went on to captain the Brockholes side in the Elland & District League which was promoted in their first season in Division 3. 

It was Paul’s dream to win promotion to the First Division but that always eluded him, indeed, in the last season of Paul’s captaincy they only just avoided relegation by winning their last game of the season.

Weston Park Trophy

The 2016 season saw Liam take over captaincy of this team after the loss of Paul in the January, and in his memory the team took Division 2 by storm, winning the league with two games to spare by a monumental 33 points. 

During this campaign, the team helped the family raise almost £1,000 in Paul’s memory for Weston Park by doing extra sweeps and football cards. The Sykes family’s other fundraising efforts included raffles, a 5K fun run and a tandem skydive plus the inaugural running of the Weston Park Trophy.

Former winners of the competition include James Davison, Mark Regan, Wayne Moseley, Josh Brown, Jack Chesswas and most recently, Paul Dudley, who won the most lucrative prize that the competition has offered up so far, a £1,000 winner’s cheque, back in April 2022, winning a spectacular final against local favourite Jack Dyson, who has expressed his strong desire to get his name on this trophy in memory of one of his old friends. 

Maybe Jack will be one to watch this year as another 64 bowlers take to the green to battle it out for this title once again.

Paul Sykes

The competition gets underway with four qualifying rounds of 16 players, each playing down to a final four who will then return for the finals day, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday April 8 from 12 noon at Brockholes Bowling Club.

As ever, the competition is a fundraising event for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity. There will be a raffle and hot and cold food will be available on each of the qualifying sessions and finals day.

There will be programmes available to purchase on finals day also, the proceeds from all of this will go towards the Sykes family’s fundraising efforts for WHPCC, as the total grows ever closer to the £10,000 mark.

The organisers would like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors who have agreed to support the competition this year, Brockholes Bowling Club, D Haigh & Co Tarmac Specialists and HuddWeb and would also like to thank the members of Brockholes BC, Sean Doyle Photography, Enterprise Print and Pritchards Butchers for all their help with various aspects of the competition.