Bowls star Brett revels in attention 'wonder shot' brings to sport

Bowls star Brett revels in attention 'wonder shot' brings to sport

If baseball player Bobby Thompson holds claim to the ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’, then bowls star Nick Brett may have produced the ‘Shot Seen ‘Round the World.’

It takes something special to be nicknamed the ‘Brad Pitt of bowls’ and the 48-year-old produced a moment of magic well and truly worthy of viral fame in the pairs final at the World Indoor Championships in 2020.

Brett, from Yaxley, was playing alongside Greg Harlow against Scottish stars Paul Foster and Alex Marshall in Hopton-on-Sea when he produced the ‘wonder shot.’

Somehow Brett angled his bowl perfectly, finding the smallest of gaps between woods to help him and Harlow claim the opening end of the final.

Brett, speaking ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this week, said: “It was the first set of the indoor world pair final against Alex and Paul, playing with my good friend Mr. Harlow.

“I think we’d played them in the final at least twice, so tough. I think the game was pretty close at the time, they were holding. Greg’s asked me to get in between a small gap.

“During that the crowd laughed as to say he’s going to be nowhere near this and to be fair, it wasn’t the easiest shot in the world. Normally you’d just arrive to it, get off the back and bowl.

“Luckily that one didn’t touch any bowl, got through the gap without any assistance.”

Brett is unlikely to ever land a shot quite like that again and while he admits that he is a perfectionist, constantly striving to play as well as he can, sometimes the game plan is a lot more simple.

“The perfect bowl is always nice, but on average you’re looking to just get as many bowls as close as you can to help as a team. Getting them perfect all the time isn’t easy,” he added.

“I don’t like not getting it right. Winning can be immaterial but getting something right, I do like to have things right even when tiling the kitchen - I like to have it right.”

Brett and Harlow went on to claim the title though it was that shot in the opening game that would come to define not only the final, but seemingly the rest of his career.

He knew at the time that it was an impressive shot - as did the crowd at Potters Leisure Resort - though he didn’t think much of it as the final progressed with victory at the forefront of his mind.

It was only in the hours after claiming the title when, bombarded with media requests, he realised just how much noise his bowl had made.

He said: “That bowl happened but for the rest of the game, I didn’t really think anything of it.

“But obviously once we’ve finished, come off and come out from dinner, I’ve got loads of requests to go and speak to everyone about this particular bowl. Really I didn’t think much of it but then it’s been out on all different stuff.

“It’s just another bowl you play, it was a reasonably good bowl, but it’s kind of given me my 15 seconds of fame if you like and probably the bowl I’ll be most remembered for no matter what else I do.

“I’ve kind of realised that it’s hopefully done some good for the game as all that publicity, that’s what we need as a sport, to attract people in watching, and sponsors and TV. We just want to play in front of big crowds.”

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