John Dobbie - Australian bowls legend dies (19/10)

Media Release, Bowls Australia, Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Australian bowling legend John Dobbie OAM passed away today (19/10).

Dobbie made an outstanding personal contribution to the sport of lawn bowls over several decades as an Australian representative and administrator.

As a player, Dobbie reached the pinnacle when he represented Australia at the first World Bowls Championship in Sydney in 1966 — skipping the triples to a gold medal and the fours to a silver.

The side won the first Leonard Trophy for the best performed team at World Bowls.
Dobbie is one of only eight Australians to have secured a World Bowls Championship gold medal.

In an international career spanning 10 years, Dobbie also competed at the 1970 and 1974 Commonwealth Games and contested the first Australia versus South Africa Test Match in 1964.

In addition to a remarkable playing career, Dobbie was secretary of the Royal Victorian Bowling Association from 1959 to 1980 and honorary secretary to the Australian Bowls Council from 1975 to 1985.

He was also chief executive of the 1980 World Bowls Organising Committee.

Dobbie is a life member of Bowls Australia and has been a patron of the Australian Blind Bowlers Association since 1985.

Dobbie was the face of bowls in Victoria appearing on Channel Seven’s ‘World of Sport’ where he commentated on the famous draw to the jack and drive competitions. His pennant reports were enjoyed by players and bowls enthusiasts alike.

The Victorian-based bowler also penned several books passing on his knowledge and love of the sport.

“John Dobbie is one of the all-time greats of Australian bowls,” said Bowls Australia chief executive Mark Rendell.

“A real gentleman both on and off the green, Dobbie is one of Australia’s most well known bowlers.”

“He is a true legend of the sport and was a wonderful ambassador for the game.”