SCOTLAND bowls stalwart Billy Mellors has announced his international retirement on a high, after helping his country to victory at the Men’s Home International Series in Dunfermline at the weekend.

Haddington Bowling Club’s Mellors, 48, East Lothian’s bowls development officer, played his part in victories over Ireland and Wales but was forced to leave the green at Abbeyview Bowling Club, midway through his country’s crunch game with England on Saturday, due to a knee injury.

In his absence, his team-mates recorded a famous victory over the Auld Enemy to lift the Hilton Trophy for the first time since 2014 and end years of English dominance.

But after enjoying the celebrations, Mellors, of Aberlady, announced on Monday he would be ending a glittering international career, which saw him captain Scotland in 2018 and 2019, and win a pairs silver medal at the 2008 World Outdoor Bowls Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, with Darren Burnett.

He said: “I was gutted to come off on Saturday – especially with my wife and friends there to watch me – but it was the right decision as I was in a lot of pain and I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if, due to the injury, I played poorly and the team didn’t win.

East Lothian Courier: Billy Mellors in action at the weekend. Image: David WardleBilly Mellors in action at the weekend. Image: David Wardle (Image: David Wardle)



“It was an epic victory against the English and the support from the crowd was awesome.

"And hats off to the English lads and management who stayed back to help us celebrate.

"But getting older comes to us all and recent injuries have pushed me in the direction of retirement from playing international events.

“All good teams need to evolve and I feel it’s time to give the younger bowlers the chance to perform at the highest level.”

And he added: “Thirty years of international events has allowed me to make many lasting friendships and for this I am very thankful.

"I’ll still be around and competing in the game I love at national level, so I’ll be keeping the young team on their toes for a while yet.”

Mellors, Scotland’s lawn bowls team manager at last year’s Commonwealth Games, thanked his family, team-mates, selectors, Bowls Scotland and the Scottish Indoor Bowling Association for their support.

East Lothian Courier: Alex Marshall was full of praise for Billy MellorsAlex Marshall was full of praise for Billy Mellors (Image: David Wardle)

Scotland team-mate Alex Marshall, the most decorated player on the World Bowls Tour, described Mellors as a credit to his club and country, and also his family. 

“He was an inspiration to many of the younger guys in the team,” said Marshall.

“Billy was great for the team on and off the green as he was full of humour and great laughs.

“He will be greatly missed as a player too – he had all the shots in the book. 

“I am personally gutted as he is one of my best friends and I will miss him on and off the green.

"It was a great send-off for Billy winning the trophy with a great team performance against England.”