TREVOR WAGNER in a Northern Star file picture from the 1980s.
TREVOR WAGNER in a Northern Star file picture from the 1980s.

Vale the ?Woodburn Wizard



TREVOR Wagner, the brilliant bowler Sydney newspapers dubbed the 'Woodburn Wizard', died last Sunday aged 83.

Far North Coast bowlers are the Cinderellas of the game, so when one is given that sort of glowing recognition in the south it's an indication of the man's ability.

Years ago I had the job of having Trevor's mountain of newspaper and magazine cuttings bound into a large volume that now rests in a glass case in the Evans Head club where he played in his later years.

In sorting through his cuttings, I was astounded at his achievements in a career that ended only with his untimely death.

Trevor was reluctant to speak about what he had done in bowls and it was only when I saw the records that I realised his immense successes and the respect the bowls world had for him nationally and internationally.

He represented NSW in Australia 63 times and in New Zealand 19 times. In addition, he played for Queensland on three occasions.

When it came to masters tournaments, he won everything. He took the Sydney City Masters ? in its day the biggest masters event in the nation ? three years running; the Launceston (Tasmania) masters; many events in this restricted category at Newcastle and at Merrylands, Dover Heights, Kempsey, Cessnock, Bomaderry, Lake Cathie, Woolgoolga, Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads.

He won the highly-regarded double, Ballina's Summerland Singles and Pairs, in 1968, followed it up next year with the Summerland Singles, then won the Singles again in 1972.

Trevor Wagner's name started to appear in Northern Rivers district records in 1965, a golden era that had such wonderful bowlers as Norvel Strong, Terry McGuire and internationals Arthur Black and Alex Matthews.

In all, Trevor won the district singles five times and was runner-up four times; he won the district pairs and triples twice each.

His record with Woodburn and Evans Head clubs is 11 singles championships, six pairs, two triples and four fours.

Knee and hip operations restricted him in recent years but he was still playing at Evans Head and competing in local tournaments until his most recent illness.

Nobody has left their mark on North Coast bowls as indelibly as Trevor Wagner has.

His achievements are there for all to see in the Evans Head scrapbook.

Bowlers, young and old, should read them. And be inspired.

? JIM BRIGGINSHAW



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