Cyphers Indoor Bowls Club, based
in Beckenham, Kent, was founded in 1935 but sadly the building was razed to the
ground by enemy action in June 1940 and the green was not re-opened for play
In 1937 the club hosted the Denny Cup final and although they did not win it on that occasion, since then it has won the trophy on five occasions and been runners-up three times most recently in 2012 when we lost to City of Ely. Over the years the club has also been very successful in the National Championships with over 20 titles with the most recent successes being in the Fours and the Pairs.
Whilst the Club is not big in Membership, it’s a very friendly and competitive club that has a very active Junior Section. The club has a great tradition of producing players for England with nearly 20 players representing their country over the years. Current members of the Cyphers squad who have worn the famous blue blazer are Terry Heppell, Martyn Sekjer, Paul Field and the current Captain of the England Team, Andy Thomson MBE. Former World Indoor Pairs Champion Gary Smith who is now CEO of the governing body of World Bowls is a life member who won many titles during his time with the club.
Among the many young rising stars at the club is Taylor Monk a current Under 25 England International player and 2013 Kent County Indoor Singles Champion and Tom Bishop who in that same year aged 22 was crowned World Champion of Champions when he won the event held in New Zealand defeating players from Cyprus, Botswana, Guernsey, China, Singapore, Israel, Wales, Scotland and Hong Kong. The most notable win for Bishop was when he defeated Robert Weale (Wales) currently ranked world No.17 and a former World Indoor Champion & Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist 4-10, 6-4, 4-2, in the semis to get through to the final where he beat Scottish rival Alastair White 8-4, 9-5.
Current and past members have also enjoyed success in the British Isles and World Championships. The club is very proud of the fact that Andy Thomson became the World Indoor Singles Champion for the third time in 2012, a fantastic achievement considering that bowls at the highest level is now considered a young person’s game so to win it then at the age of 56 shows incredible determination and appetite for the sport. In January 2013 Andy was awarded an MBE in recognition for his services to bowls and in March 2014 he became the first player to reach 100 caps for England. In 2015 Andy reached the final again who at 59 was the oldest player ever to reach the final. This time he was up against a fellow MBE and 5 time winner Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall. Tattie who won Gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was in the form of his life and proved too strong for Thomson on the day but it was another remarkable achievement by Andy. Click here to view the club’s honours.