As always, Lord Bowler (seen here with captain Iviwe Ndamane) will be watching from the sidelines of the 1st XVs game this afternoon.
The saga of Lord Bowler, Union’s 1st XV’s mascot, started 46 years ago, in 1973. The Head Boy that year was Johnny Smith. His father was renowned as a teller of tall tales, which in those days were colloquially called ‘bowlers’. So when he decided to donate a teddy as a mascot to the 1st XV, it was immediately named ‘Mr Bowler’.
That same year, Andrew Crawford and Mark Wiley created the war cry which is still used today.
Tradition has it that the head of ‘Mr Bowler’ must be touched when the players are running out onto the field – indeed a touching story! Since then, ‘Mr Bowler’ had been knighted and became ‘Lord Bowler’.
Lord Bowler might be the property of the first team, but over the years, he has stood for all the rugby teams who have taken to the Union fields in green and white.