Officers & Committees 2020/21
VBL administration is led by a Management Committee. There is also a 6-man Competitions Committee, all its members are on the Management Committee. All of the men you elect have many years of experience and are well known in Northern Ireland’s bowling circles. Some have already given in excess of 15 years of continuous service each on your behalf.
The administration is in a transition stage. This is due, in large measure, to the increasing scope of the programmes now available for the members. And although it is probably undeniable that in days gone by the pen was mightier than the sword, things have moved on. When presenting possible new men for the Executive, VBL tries to ensure they meet three main criteria. (1) They are at the lower end of the age group, (2) they have computer literacy, and (3) they love the game we all play, share in a vision of progressing VBL forward, and wish to contribute something.
VBL is fortunate that these men are prepared to give their time for the sport.
Derek McCann (President & Secretary Sections B1A, B4, B4A)
Derek made his name on the cricket pitch before converting to Bowls!! “Genius” has quickly established himself as a formidable foe, winning our Singles title as well as guiding Downpatrick to numerous honours. During the winter he is a Short Mat specialist winning the Champions of Champions Triples and representing Ireland at the World Short Mat Bowls in 2016.
Derek also played Senior Table Tennis for City YMCA, winning the Belfast & District Division 1.
The Derek has been an Executive Committee Member since 2014.
Tel No. 02844841701 Mob No. 07935920879
Billy Clingham (Vice President)
Due to family, work commitments and being a keen gardener Billy didn’t take up bowls until he was in his forties. In keeping with the majority of bowlers his first introduction to the game was via Short Mat and he had many successes over the years winning various Short Mat tournaments all over Ireland. Billy joined local outdoor club Dromore several years later and enjoyed many highs and lows but stayed with them through the lean years. Billy was privileged to have Skipped winning Dromore Rinks against PGL and Towns Vets on different occasions and was also part of the Dromore Vets side who have been overall winners in Vets Championship Cups over recent years. In my year in office next years season I’m hoping to persuade others that we need to make small changes to see Vets survive in a meaningful way.
Mob No. 0785104020
Robert McCullough (Immediate Past President)
Robert is no stranger to Office in the world of Bowling! He came to the game in 1980 and, very quickly, became involved in both Playing and administration. He served as Secretary of his local Church League and the Six Mile Water League before being appointed Convenor for the all-conquering Mid Antrim Zone which won the Boomer Cup and the British Isles team championship during his time in office.
Robert began his “Outdoor” career with Langford, before moving to Antrim Lawn – his current “home”.
Once again he became involved in the management of his club and, of course, the Veterans’ section when he “became of age”. He is a Qualified Umpire for Short Mat, Indoor and outdoor.
Tel No. 02894465694
Brian Connor (Honorary Secretary & Past President)
Brian is proud and honoured to have served as President of the Veterans’ Bowling League in 2013. This was a special year for his home club, Whitehead as they also provided the Presidents of N.I.B.A. and of N.I.W.B.A. Brian came into office as Acting Secretary in 2010 and was elected officially in 2011. He won the V.B.L. Singles in 2008, the Fours in 2011, the Triples in 2012 and the Pairs in 2015. He has led fours to victory in both the VBL v NIPBVL game and the NIBA v PGL Veterans’ Challenge.
Tel No. 02893353041
Arvon Bickerstaff (Assistant Secretary, Past President & Secretary Sections B3, B3A)
An enthusiastic member of Balmoral Bowling Club, his name betrays his Welsh roots! Arvon plays for his club ‘B’ team as well as representing the Veterans. He is Balmoral’s Veterans’ Section Secretary and this year has again assumed the Office of Assistant Secretary of the Veterans’ Bowling League.
President in 2011, Arvon’s proudest moment came when he unfurled our new Flag at his home green – a truly historic moment! He doubles up as Section Secretary for Leagues B3 and B3A
Tel No. 02890644097
Harry Sloan (Honorary Treasurer)
Elected at our last A.G.M. Harry is a long-serving member of Willowfield Bowling Club, where he has been in office as President, Treasurer and member of the Management Board.
A financial Accountant since 1972 and Part-time Lecturer in Business Studies since 1976, he surely has all the attributes and experience to qualify him to fill Billy Murdie’s boots.
Harry’s big interest outside bowling has been the Boys’ Brigade; an Officer and Captain since 1957 he was President of Route Battalion in 1983.
Tel No. 02890458299
John McCoy (Assistant Treasurer)
John is the latest recruit to our Executive. In the past he has served as one of our auditors but now he has assumed the role of Assistant to Harold Sloan.
John is from the world of sales and marketing and finished his career as MD of a major company based in Nottingham.
John started to play bowls at Pickie in 2008 and has helped them to win the P.G.L. Junior Cup, Mid-Week Cup (2) and the Veterans League as recently as 2016. Tel No. 02891458606
Dessie Simpson (Past President & Secretary Section A1, A1A & A2)
Dessie plays his bowls at Ulster Transport but, many years ago, has been President of Shorts. An Executive Member since 2009, he was elected VBL President in 2010.
He has led teams to victory in both the VBL v NIPBVL game and the NIBA v PGL Veterans’ Challenge. A keen singer, he entertained both teams at the 2015 Challenge match in Coleraine!
Dessie, though modest by nature remains fiercely competitive. A true Bowling enthusiast, he plays Outdoors, Short Mat and at both Stadiums! Tel No. 02891870386 Mob No. 07866190485
Harold Gilmore (Past President, Secretary Sections B1, B2, B2A)
Harold Gilmour has been serving on the VBL Executive since 2004 and controls no fewer than five sections with a firm hand! He took major responsibility for the extensive restructuring of our leagues in recent years and remains our League Supremo.
In real life, Harold worked for a major airline for 35 years and only converted to bowling after his early retirement. He is Treasurer for Shaftesbury Veterans. Tel No. 02890641317
Michael Bunting (Cup & Competition Secretary)
Michael started playing Bowls with Lurgan in 2002. He has been President of his club as well as Match Secretary and Selector. He plays Short Mat Bowls as well as playing in Leagues in the Baker Stadium and at Belfast Indoor Bowling Club.
Prior to that Michael was involved in Darts, running Leagues and competitions at County and National Level for over 30 Years. He is a former N.I.D.O Secretary and has refereed Darts at International Level.
Michael was employed as a Plumber and Works Officer at Craigavon Hospital for over 39 year until his retirement in December 2012. Tel No. 02838322387 Mob No. 07411057046
Paul McIlreavy (Webmaster)
Paul was brought onto the Management Committee at the 2018 AGM to explore opportunities to improve the current website. He replaces George Morrow who did a sterling job in helping create the previous VBL website and had diligently maintained it for several years as well as most importantly updating league and cup results and league tables.
Although Paul hasn’t quite reached the age of 60 which would allow him to play in the Veterans League he is keen to constantly monitor and seek improvements to our website. Paul plays his outdoor bowls at Londonderry Park, where he has been a member for 30+ years. Mob No. 07546930146