Alex 'Tattie' Marshall: "I'm a competitor, I like to push myself"
Alex Marshall admits he gets a tear in his eye when driving past the site of his double gold medal-winning triumph at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The bowls legend was one of the stars of the tournament thanks to his now iconic celebration after a last-gasp victory over England in the Men’s Pairs semi-final.Marshall played two incredible shots to snatch victory for Team Scotland and secure a place in the gold medal play-offs against Malaysia - a match he and teammate Paul Foster subsequently won.
“The celebration was a release of pressure,” he said. “We were under the cosh for most of that game. When you win like that, you can’t just shake your opponent’s hands, there has to be some kind of celebration when you reach a gold medal play-off in front of your home support. It was a thanks to them as well.
“You look at footballers when they score in the last minute of a game.”
Despite having achieved so much in the sport, he is no mood to retire and is already setting his sights on winning more medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia.
“I’m a competitor,” he said. “I like to push myself and play at the highest level I can. I actually think I’ve played some of the best bowls in my career in recent years.
“It is tough. There are some great younger players coming into the game.”
What made the victory all the sweeter for Marshall was not just the chance to play in front of a home crowd, but to compete on the pristine greens outside Kelvingrove Museum in the heart of Glasgow’s west end.
“It’s an iconic venue with the art galley and university in the background,” he said. “I pass Kelvingrove often enough. It does sometimes bring a tear to my eye, knowing that I might never play there again.
“Hopefully the national championships could be held there as it’s such a great venue. The majority of times I pass there’s not many players.
“It’s a venue that means a lot to me.”
Marshall - known to friends and family as Tattie - is no stranger to winning medals at major international tournaments.
The 49-year-old is a record breaking six-time World Indoor Singles Champion, and was awarded an MBE for services to the sport in 2007.
Bowling is in the blood for Marshall. He’s been playing bowls at a competitive standard since the age of eight, having been born into an Edinburgh family of keen players.
“I was born on Gorgie Road and went to Tynecastle High,” he explained. “It was fortunate that there was a bowling club - Gorgie Mills - just across the road from the school. Instead of playing football at break time, I would go across the road for a game against my dad or grandad.”
Although now a member of Gifford Bowling Club in East Lothian, Marshall is still an honorary member of Gorgie Mills and returns often to the area, being a keen Hearts supporter.