It wasn’t easy to break into the State team during the eighties and early nineties. Between 1981 and 1994 Western Australia had won the Interstate Sides Championship seven times…
But in 1986 Lindsay Thorn did just that, and he went on to play 199 games for WA. Cheeky, irreverent, quick-witted, abrasive at times, (and worst of all a Victorian!), Lindsay had a Haydn Ballantyne-like ability to get under the opponents’ skin and into their head.
In many cases this translated into shots for WA as the opponents struggled to deal with his non-stop banter. On many of those interstate trips I had the pleasure of sharing a room with Lindsay, and could not have wished for a better “roomie”. Those interstate trips were never dull!
Of course, Lindsay also possessed plenty of ability on the green as well and his many major titles underline that. With a few more (younger!) “Lindsay Thorns” in the recent WA teams perhaps our interstate record would be much more imposing than it currently appears.
He is still contributing at state level, having been a state selector for a number of years now. From what I know of Lindsay Thorn, he will not rest until Western Australian teams once again threaten to dominate interstate competition
This shot of Prickles Thorn was taken playing archrivals Osborne Park earlier in the season, it just about sums up his attitude, enthusiasmn and desire to succeed.
My first memory of Lindsay “Prickles” Thorn goes way back to 1982, It was in the quarter final of the State Fours, he was my immediate opponent playing as a second. It was a win for the rink he played for. No doubt about it, he played far better than Sherro.
After the game I found him to be a humourous character and a very good sport. It was years later that I got to know him. For better or worse, it has been a stormy relationship which has had some ups and far far more downs over the years, and remains to be so to this very day.
There have been quite a few players who have engaged in strong conversation with him over the years but that never knocked him off his own thoughts and ideas to doing his things his way
That doesn’t diminish in any way, what he has achieved in the sport and makes him a very worthy recipient of an induction into the W.A Hall of Fame.
He is a man who is very passionate about the sport, contributing a lot on the playing field, combined with the almost thankless task of being a State selector and becoming a coach, there is a fair bit more he does behind the scenes than people are aware of not only with State duties but for his own Club, Doubleview.
A win in the State pairs (1985) was the catalyst to bring him on to the radar of the then State Selectors which in turn saw him selected to represent W.A in the 1986 Sides Series, he remained in the side till 1997, during that time at one stage, he was on the edge of Australian selection.
A forced retirement after the 1997 sides series, which seemed rather odd at the time, was shortlived making it the shortest retirement in the history of State Bowls, he went onto represent W.A on four more occasions from 1999 -2002.
There was one more shot left in the locker for Prickles Thorn when he was selected again in the 2005 Sides Series which was his swan song and became the end of the line for him at the conclusion of that series.
All in all he was a member of five Ally Shield winning sides 1987-91-92-94-99 which by any measure is simply outstanding
Life in fast lane wasn’t finished for him, when in 2007 he became a State selector, a position he has filled with the same determination he displayed as a player.
My comment on his appointment on this website at the time was “I hope Prickles has a broad view and not a Doubleview”. Hmmm I leave that comment for history and the readers of this article to decide what view he took.
His appointment to the role of selector in 2007 saw WA almost win the Sides series in Tasmania, they led the field going into the last game but lost to Sth Australia.
Since that time, success has been elusive and controversy ever present, he stuck to his guns wih his thoughts and perhaps a small reward for him, with the State Side doing better than many thought they would at Bendigo this year.
The Senior State side which came about in 2007 is another chapter in his long career that bought him plenty of joy.
He was a selector for the first couple of years with the side doing a great job, over the journey in the Seniors so far, he won the still nameless best player award.
Even to this very day the desire to keep playing at the top level was illustrated when he was runner up and played a brilliant game in the Doubleview Master Pairs at the ripe old age of 67.
Where will it all end for the charasmatic character that he is, I am not sure, but the place won’t be the same for me when it does end, because Sherro will have no one to have those few ups and many downs with.
Best wishes for the future to Prickles Thorn