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17 October 2014

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Bowls

Richard Corsie

Richard Corsie

© SCRAN

It would be perhaps inaccurate to describe Richard Corsie as a reluctant sporting hero but it would be fair to say that he never appeared completely comfortable with his role as a bowling superstar.

Many argue that excellence on the green, whether indoor or outdoor, came too easily to Corsie and indeed many of his loyal followers eventually came to be frustrated, believing he could have achieved much more in his relatively short career than he actually did. However, the record shows that the two decades he strode the bowling greens of the world were literally strewn with major honours.

In many people's opinion, Corsie, born on 27 November 1966, is the greatest Scottish bowler of all time. When you consider that no fewer than six other Scots – Bob Sutherland, John Watson, Hugh Duff, David Gourlay, Paul Foster and Alex Marshall - have won the principal prize in the sport, the World Indoor Singles, and such as Willie Wood have appeared in seven Commonwealth Games and eight World Outdoor Championships, that is no mean claim.

Yet Corsie, by common consent, is considered the most natural talent and able exponent of them all. His first national success came outdoors when he won the Scottish Junior singles at Queen's Park in 1983 going on to add the British Isles junior title.

He was first capped outdoor in 1984 and appeared in every Scotland team from then until 1998. In his home city of Edinburgh in 1986 he made his Commonwealth Games debut at the tender age of 19, winning bronze in the singles, before repeating the achievement in Auckland four years later then finally striking gold in Victoria, Canada in 1994 defeating England's Tony Allcock in the singles final.

Richard Corsie

© SCRAN

Corsie was on the medal trail with a vengeance at the World Outdoor Championships in Worthing in 1992, teaming up with fellow Lothians star Alex Marshall to claim gold in the pairs and lifting silver in the singles.

Four years later he again won two medals at these championships, this time silver in the pairs with Marshall and bronze in the singles. One of his many attributes was the consummate ease with which he adapted to conditions overseas. His firsr major success furth of Scotland was in Hong Kong in November 1987 and two months later he celebrated another triumph, this time in Australia.

He once proudly claimed: "Every time I represented Scotland abroad in major events I returned with a medal!"

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