HUNDREDS of mourners from all over the country turned out in force to bid farewell to Scarborough’s international bowls star Carole McLean.
Her England team-mates formed a guard of honour for the 27-year-old, who died suddenly last month. She had been suffering from ovarian cancer.
Many more people paid their respects outside yesterday’s service at Woodlands Crematorium, as so many were packed inside.
Carole first represented England outdoors in the women’s junior team from 2002 to 2005, progressing to make her senior debut in 2006. She had recently been selected to represent England in the European Championship to be held later this year.
Chief executive of Bowls England, Tony Allcock MBE, said: “Carole had a terrific future in the sport ahead of her and this tragic news comes as a real shock to us all. Our thoughts are with Carole’s family and friends at this time.”
Dozens of special floral tributes were created for the occasion, including one spelling out “CAZ”.
Carole worked at Boyes in Queen Street for three years and the store has been flying its flag at half-mast in tribute.
She was engaged to her partner of 10 years, Nick Newbold, who works at Next in Westborough. The couple shared a home in Blenheim Terrace.
All those attending her funeral were asked not to wear black, while the Leeds United anthem and Queen’s We Are The Champions were played to reflect her personality.
Eulogies were given by a representative of Scarborough Indoor Bowling Club, which has also opened a book of condolence for the champion, and by one of her best friends and fellow England player Katrina Jones.
Her mum Julie and dad Colin, of Highfield, described Carole as a “fun-loving, laid back person who enjoyed life” and had a “wonderful sense of humour”.
She loved all sports, especially football, and played for Scalby Ladies. She supported Leeds United and also followed Glasgow Rangers.
Carole had been the Scarborough Indoor Bowling Club ladies singles champion for the past 11 years, the ladies’ pairs title holder with different partners since 2004, and had numerous successes in triples and fours competitions.
She played a central role in the North Bay club’s 21st anniversary celebrations in November last year.
A prodigious talent, she became the youngest winner of the Golden Charter National Indoor Champion of Champions title aged just 21.
And in 2006 she was presented with the Evening News-sponsored top female achiever award at the Scarborough and District Sports Council awards.
This year she became the English women’s national indoor singles champion. In summer, Carole was a member of South Cliff Bowling Club.