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In pictures: Official opening of new Desborough Bowls Club

Sports presenter Steve Rider cut the ribbon on the new multi-million pound Desborough Bowling Club yesterday (Thursday).

The club has moved out of its York Road site due to the redevelopment of Maidenhead town centre and held an official opening of its new Green Lane premises with the famous sporting figure.

The ceremony was also attended by bowls club players, Royal Borough councillors and developer Sorbon Estates, the commercial partner of Shanly Homes.

The facilities include an eight-rink indoor green, six-rink outdoor green, a purpose-built clubhouse with a bar and seating, and ample parking.

John Bucknell, president of Desborough Bowling Club made a speech at the official opening. He said: “I would like to thank the Shanly Group, Sorbon and all their team for the amount of work they have put in to this project.

“We consider it to be the finest bowls club in the country. We look forward to being here for many years enjoying the facilities we have.”

John added: “This ceremony was the culmination of a very successful partnership with Sorbon Estates and marks the next chapter in the club’s long history.

“I am extremely excited to be a part of a club that has such history but is now able to perform on the world stage.”

The bowls club had been at its York Road site for more than a century and to mark the fresh venue, Steve Rider – ITV’s former football and F1 anchorman – was brought in to do the scissor honours outside the entrance.

He said in a speech: “This facility is absolutely stunning.

“Snooker has taken off, darts has done alright and it is now time for bowls.

“I think this is absolutely the right kind of facility to get away from that ‘you’re at a certain age so you are now ready for bowls’.

“We have got to get away from that, we have got to get players of all ages enjoying a fantastic game.

“The important thing is to provide the facilities and the inspiration that a place like this can provide to the younger generation: it’s fun, it’s accessible, it’s modern. This is probably the best facility of its kind in the UK.”

Tamra Booth, managing director at Sorbon Estates, said, “After working closely with the Desborough Bowls Club over many years, we are thrilled to see Steve Rider cut the ribbon on Green Lane today.

“The new centre offers state-of-the-art facilities and significant parking, broadening access to the sport of bowls and meaning the club can be a real focal point of the community. It was a significant occasion made even more special by the attendance of Steve, a real legend of English sport.”

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