Sunderland carpet bowl stars land England call-ups for Tri-Nations series

Called up for England: Martin Campbell (left) and Michael Laydon
Called up for England: Martin Campbell (left) and Michael Laydon
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Sunderland carpet bowlers Michael Laydon and Martin Campbell have received England call-ups for the forthcoming Tri-Nations matches against New Zealand and Norway.

The two-day event at Potters will see each country represented by two rinks of four players competing in the first ever international carpet bowls match at the Norfolk resort.

The Sunderland duo are the only North East players to make the eight-man squad comprising of five from Suffolk and one from Norfolk. The action starts on Tuesday.

When the Sunderland duo got the call from the England selectors to confirm they were in the team, both were delighted.

Laydon said: “To be picked to represent your country is a tremendous honour and making such great history in carpet bowls makes it an extra special occasion.

“My late father, Robert Laydon, took me to play the sport at a very young age, so, needless to say, I know my dad will be looking down feeling very proud.

“To be asked to skip a rink in the first ever international match is a massive honour and recognition for all the hard work I have put in over the years to become the player I am today.”

It’s a dream come true for Campbell, who said: “When we won the Sunderland pairs title five years out of six, I felt that would be an honour that would not be beaten because of the very high standard of bowlers we managed to beat over the years.

“But to be called up to play for your country, it doesn’t get any better than that.

“Well, actually, the only thing that can top such an honour is to come home with an international title winner’s medal.”

Anyone interested in playing carpet bowls, or at least giving it ago, can contact Michael via email: michael.laydon@yahoo.co.uk