UPDATED WITH VIDEO – HUMBLE BEGINNINGS by Keith Hale – A World Cup Story

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS by Keith Hale

As we know it now, the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup which is heading for its 53rd edition in Hermosillo, Mexico in November, began life at the renowned Stillorgan Bowl in Dublin in 1965 as the International Masters and kept that moniker for the first four years of its illustrious life.

The event was the brainchild of American Vic Kalman,, who became AMF’s European promotions director. The idea was discussed with our own Jock Caie, then working for AMF International Ltd. at their office in Saville Row, London in bowling promotions. Kalman evidently had a friend who was a member of Coca-Cola’s European sales force, who told him that he was looking to sponsor a strong European event and agreed to go ahead with the tournament in Dublin.

Stillorgan Bowl was the first centre to open in Ireland and, at that time, had twenty four lanes and run by the Murphy clan, a family to become so well-known in the bowling fraternity.

The inaugural event attracted an entry of champions from 20 nations, including the United States and Australia, the American Tom Hathaway, then American Bowling Congress all-events champion, firmly the Irish bookmaker’s favourite. However, it was Finland’s Lauri Ajanto who pipped the American in the final frame of the three-day event to become champion. Italy’s Vittorio Novelotto took third place. As for the British effort, it was Southampton’s Clive Thomas who had the honour of representing Great Britain and he finished in 13th place.

The Masters attracted good media interest, both locally and internationally. Bowlers Journal’s Mort Luby traveled over from Chicago for his first of more than 30 World Cups and Reuters sent Birmingham’s Barry James, covering just a few more than Luby.

Happy faces all round as the International Masters had planted a firm foot on the tenpin bowling ground and had been declared a huge success.

Next stop Wembley Stadium Bowl, London in 1966.

1965 Dublin, Ireland

Bowler Details

MEN  BOWLERS COUNTRY AGE AVERAGE OCCUPATION
1 Richard Hall Australia 26 194 Promotions
2 Hans Pavloszky Austria 41 195 Merchant
3 Luis Wildermeersch Belgium 33 190 Stevedore
4 Ed Stovell Bermuda 31 191 Mechanic
5 Ib Svendsen Denmark 37 192
6 Lauri Ajanto Finland 37 191 Dental Technician
7 Artur Francois France 64 180 Engineer
8 Gert Werner Germany 24 183 Insurance Agent
9 Wim Sassen Holland 21 196 Cashier
10 Desmond Murphy Ireland
11 Vittorio Noveletto Italy 31 193 Tailor
12 Masakazu Fujii Japan 27 Furniture Store Owner
13 Juan M Canelo Mexico 33 203 Businessman
14 Iman Fattah Monaco 35 180 Casino Employee
15 Birgir Solst Norway 33 187 Cabinet Maker
16 Juan Vicente Guisasola Spain 22 180 Engineer
17 Lars Gallstedt Sweden 26 198 Technician
18 Daniel Huber Switzerland 17 192 Student
18 Clive Thomas UK 21 194 Office Manager
20 Tom Hathaway USA 30 203 Store Owner

Final Standings

1. Lauri Ajanto, Finland; 2. Tom Hathaway, USA; 3. Vittorio Noveletto, Italy.

Position Name Country Won Lost Pinfall Average Bonus Total
1 Lauri Ajanto Finland 26.5 11.5 7279 191 1325 8604
2 Tom Hathaway USA 25 13 7300 192 1250 8550
3 Vittorio Noveletto Italy 21.5 16.5 7450 196 1075 8525
4 Masakazu Fujii Japan 22 16 7236 190 1100 8336
5 Birgir Solost Norway 22 16 7135 187 1100 8235
6 Wim Sassen Holland 24.5 13.5 6944 182 1225 8169
7 Daniel Huber Switzerland 19.5 18.5 7126 187 975 8101
8 Hans Pavloszky Austria 19.5 18.5 7106 187 975 8081
9 Louis Wildermeersch Belgium 24.5 13.5 6854 180 1225 8079
10 Ed Stovell Bermuda 22 16 6978 183 1100 8078
11 Juan Canelo Mexico 19.5 18.5 7010 184 975 7985
12 Dick Hall Australia 18 20 6840 180 900 7740
13 Clive Thomas G Britain 17 21 6789 178 850 7639
14 Juan Vicente Guisasola Spain 14.5 23.5 6913 181 725 7638
15 Artur Francois France 15 23 6750 177 750 7500
16 Gert Werner Germany 14 24 6793 178 700 7493
17 Iman Fattah Monaco 17 21 6544 172 850 7394
18 Lars Gallstedt Sweden 15.5 22.5 6577 173 775 7352
19 Desmond Murphy Ireland 14 24 6572 172 700 7272
20 Ib Svendsen Denmark 10.5 27.5 6386 168 525 6911

Archives  – Read More about the first World Cup here

Since the first event in 1965, winning AMF’s Bowling World Cup title has been the most coveted goal in amateur bowling. Whether held in the shadows of the Great Pyramids in or under the bright lights of , each tournament has provided unforgettable moments from competition that has spanned five decades.

Browse the archives to discover or revisit these moments, competitors, and the great champions that have made up the rich history of AMF’s Bowling World Cup.

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