A TOP Scarborough sportswoman has died at the age of 27.
The bowls world was shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of brilliant young bowler Carole McLean, who was Scarborough born and bred.
She died in Scarborough Hospital yesterday – days after she competed in the women’s home international series.
Carole, a bubbly 27-year-old, was a regular member of England’s indoor and outdoor bowls teams, as well as Scarborough Indoor Bowling Club.
The club in North Bay said it was devastated at the death of their international star.
Carole, whose father Colin and mother Julie also live in Scarborough, actually played for England against Scotland at Llandrindod Wells in Mid Wales last Tuesday, believing she was suffering from the after-effects of gastric flu.
She was too unwell to line up against the other three countries. Receiving special permission to leave the event early on Thursday, she drove home and reported to her doctor in Scarborough and was Immediately admitted to hospital, she died in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It is understood that, without knowing it, she was suffering from ovarian cancer, and the news of her death has shocked and saddened her England team-mates, her international opponents, and, indeed, all who knew her.
Carole was fascinated by the game of bowls when she first visited the Scarborough centre with her grandfather when she was nine years old, and she soon became a member of the club’s junior Jumping Jacks.
Her subsequent success stemmed from a natural talent combined with the excellent coaching and encouragement she received from club members, particularly in her early days from long-standing member Malcolm Bramham.
Her potential as one of the game’s greats soon became obvious as she won a string of junior and club competitions.
At 17 she was selected to play for England in a women’s international match against Wales, and over the years since then made regular appearances in the England Under-25s and full international teams.
When just 21 she became the youngest winner of the Golden Charter National Indoor Champion of Champions title.
And in 2006, following her success in finishing as runner-up in the women’s singles championship at the World Bowls Junior Cup which was played in Australia, she was a member of a five strong team which toured Israel for a test series.
Carole had been the SIBC 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.And this year she became the English women’s national indoor singles champion.
In summer Carole was a member of South Cliff Bowling Club.
SIBC press officer Eddie Burton said: “This is tremendously sad news for members of the club, for bowlers world wide and, indeed, for anyone who knew her.
“Carole was a lovely, vivacious person with a characteristic modesty about her bowling ability and achievements. She gained great pleasure from the game and in return, whenever the opportunity presented itself, gave back by advice and encouragement, particularly to the band of young players hoping in some measure to follow her successful footsteps.
“Her death at such a young age is heartbreaking for all who knew her. The club shares the loss felt by her partner and family who have our deepest sympathy.”