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Darwen bowling pioneer dies, aged 62
A BOWLING pioneer who wanted to introduce the sport to every primary school in Blackburn and Darwen, has died aged 62.
Former teacher David Innes, of Hoddlesden, began playing aged 14, and his passion for the sport never faded.
He took on a host of roles within the bowling community, including development officer of the North Lancs and Fylde Bowling Association, chairman of the East Lancashire Premier League for four years, chairman of the Blackburn and Darwen Bowls Partnership and involvement with the British Crown Green Bowling Association.
He set up clubs throughout the North West and applied for lottery grants to improve facilities.
He was also a former player and manager of Turton FC.
His wife Sylvia said: “His commitment to youngsters was life-long.
"He taught the sport he loved to the youngsters he loved, to the very end.
“His enthusiasm knew no bounds. He was always generous with his praise, and his total commitment was infectious.”
David's dedication was recognised in 2007 when the Blackburn and District Sports Council presented him with a special award for services to sport.
Bill Stemp, who regularly spoke with David regarding local football, indoor and outdoor bowls and the protection of open spaces, said: “He was always very forward thinking and wasn't scared to air his views to the wider audience.”
Born and brought up in Edgworth, David was also a keen lover of nature, and kept a wide collection of birds from rare varieties to poultry and pheasants.
He died of stroke complications on Sunday, June 5.
His funeral service was held at St Anne’s Church, Chapeltown, last Wednesday, followed by interment at St Anne’s Churchyard.