TRIBUTES have been paid to a sporting stalwart who was instrumental in establishing the National Championships for bowls.

Former Bowls Scotland director and local District 9 secretary Alan Davidson sadly passed away last Wednesday, March 6, following a short period of illness.

The Dunblane man has been heavily involved in the sport for many years, especially in Clackmannanshire and Stirling.

He joined the board of the Scottish Bowling Association in 2006; helped to form Bowls Scotland in 2010; and became one of the first directors of the new organisation.

George Barr, vice-president at Alloa Bowling Club and also district secretary, had worked alongside Alan in the area and said: “He was a character, he was also a gentleman.”

He wanted to say thanks to all clubs in the area for their half mast tributes, which have been “greatly appreciated” by Alan’s wife Mary and the whole family.

Alan McMillan, CEO at Bowls Scotland, was also mourning the loss last week.

He said: “Alan was a great supporter of all Bowls Scotland events and even after he had stepped down from the role of Director in 2013 Alan still attended the National Championships with his beloved wife Mary, to help out and support the players who had qualified from his district.

“A larger than life character who always had a smile on his face, support for bowls in his heart and the ability to make people laugh, Alan will be sorely missed within Bowls Scotland, his club, his county and across the whole of the bowling community.”

The chief also highlighted how Alan, along with Betty Aitken, worked as joint directors of competitions and events when they started putting forward fresh ideas to improve contests.

He, with the help of Anna Marshall, was instrumental in establishing the now combined women's and men's National Championships.

A celebration of Alan Davidson’s life will be held at Dunblane Cathedral this Friday, March 15, at 1.30pm with a collection for Crohn’s disease and Spondylitis.