Teignmouth’s respected and much-loved Ken Boobyer, one of the most celebrated and decorated bowlers in Devon, has died just days short of his 90th birthday.

The first Devonian to represent England both in the indoor and outdoor game, the former West Lawn School pupil passed away in Torbay Hospital late Saturday afternoon after a long illness.

Ken began bowling aged 11 and was skippering the Shaldon village team in his early teens. He finally settled at Bitton Park when he was 15.

In 1949 he played his first county match for Devon against opponents Glamorgan and made his Devon Middleton Cup debut in 1959.

Ken went on to make more than 80 appearances in the Middleton Cup inter-county championships.

During his time at Bitton Park, Ken was club champion eight times and enjoyed a four-year unbroken run as champion.

Seventy-four years ago, in January 1944, Ken joined Great Western Railway (GWR) at Heathfield and forged an outstanding career. But in 1989, after 45 years with GWR, he retired to nurse wife, Betty, who had cancer.

During his working life Ken represented the Western Region of British Rail bowls team in the 1962 inter-regional competition and, in 1961, won the Western Region All Lines title.

He won the British Rail (West Region) singles eight times and pairs five times. During his career, he won three pairs titles and the triples at the Teignmouth Open.

Ken was club secretary at Bitton Park (from 1959 to 1963) and held every admin post at the club bar treasurer.

In 1985 he began the start of many years’ devoted service on the England Bowling Association (EBA) executive committee. Between 1987 and 1992 he was tournament director of World Bowls.

Ken received life membership of the EBA in December 1995 and continued to watch and support local bowls at all levels.