WARRINGTON will stage one of the biggest charity fundraising days in crown green bowls with stars of the sport from across the country set to take part.

The town has won the right for Bank Park Pavilion to host the inaugural Battle of the Sexes Tournament in memory of one of the sport’s true champions, the late Mel Evans MBE.

In an event backed by Warrington Borough Council and Grange Valley Amusements, Warrington’s Lee Johnstone and Damian Morrison will be among the field attempting to win the Pritchatt-Evans Trophy on Saturday, October 19.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Mel Evans MBE Foundation, which has John Parrot MBE as patron.

The aim of the Foundation is to raise awareness and vitally needed funding to support the country’s leading neurologists in the fight to find the cause and a cure for MND.

It is a cause close to the hearts of bowlers for Mel was awarded an MBE for exemplary and dedicated services to crown green in 2013.

His CV is glittered with success in a playing career that spanned over 50 years.

He was the lead organiser for the Bass Olympia Crown Green Bowling Tournament, considered one of the best competitions the sport has ever seen.

In recent years Mel was instrumental in securing terrestrial TV coverage of the Men’s Autumn Waterloo with ITV4.

Tragedy struck in 2016 when he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Mel and his family faced a battle that was impossible to win and that battle was cruelly lost in 2017.

His long-time partner, both on and off the green, Lynn Pritchatt said: “I have been working in partnership with Bank Park Pavilion since March this year and much hard work continues to ensure this national event runs to perfection.

“Our sport has never before seen a team event of this nature – ladies versus men.

“My vision is that this bi-annual tournament eventually achieves the same status as the All England and becomes one that players and spectators alike will look forward to at the start of the season.”

Delighted Bank Park spokesman John Pownall said: “Bank Park is delighted to be hosting such a prestigious national event for Crown Green Bowling.

“I hope that the Warrington bowling fraternity will support the event in large numbers.”

Clr Tony Higgins, lead member for communities, leisure and tourism at Warrington Borough Council, said: “We are thrilled to welcome this exciting event to Warrington.

“We are very proud of the facilities for bowlers at Bank Park and it will be lovely to have this opportunity to welcome both local visitors and those from across the country to Warrington for this prestigious event in the shadow of the iconic Town Hall and its ‘Golden Gates’”.

More details to follow in the coming weeks.