passing of a fellow bowler


Tenpin Bowling Australia has paid tribute to Hall of Fame member – John Sullivan who passed away on Thursday aged 72.
“TBA is deeply saddened by Johns’ passing and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Leanne and son Charlie,” TBA CEO Cara Honeychurch said today.

“Australian bowling has lost one of its legends. I had the honour of being coached by John in my junior years in President’s Shield and later went on to bowl alongside him in many tournaments. He was a fierce competitor, so incredibly smooth to watch and his accuracy was unmatched,” Honeychurch added.

“Known as Mr Magic, John was an incredible talent that saw him represent Australia and experience a level of excellence in the sport that spanned decades.”

In the 1970’s, Sullivan established himself as one of the top bowlers in Australia, gathering a string of wins and titles. By 1975, he had been selected to represent Australia in the World FIQ Tournament in London. This honour was repeated when he was again selected to be part of the Gold medal winning men’s team in Manilla in 1979.
Sullivan’s FIQ appearances as an Australian representative totalled six, resulting in 4 Gold medals, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze. In the 1980’s just about every major tournament title belonged to Sullivan with some of his most notable performances including the 1983 South Pacific win and the S-Sportswear Classic win with an average of 214.
Sullivan was also the captain of the winning Victorian Rachuig team in 1982, where he received the President’s Award for his 200 average, with 18 wins in 21 matches. His high game is a mere 300, with a high game series of 834 consisting of 277, 278, and 279.
Sullivan was elected into TBA’s Hall of Fame in
He was a true gentleman on the lanes as well as off going to be missed so much taught me a lot


The Bowling Geek
Oh wow... This is sad news. My limited experience of John Sullivan showed me that he was so much more than a tenacious competitor.

There's all those things he did and won, but my very favourite memory of John was when he competed at the Sydney Cup at Leichhardt Olympic Bowl, travelling up from Melbourne with this guy named Rob Zikman who was making a comeback to bowling. (I was still in juniors, so 1983-4..?) Both of them made the cut. When post-tournament refreshments were being partaken (remember when bowlers were sociable..?), the great John Everson dropped by to see his mates John and Rob. Armed with some pale amber courage, "Evvo" insisted that he could still beat Zikman and borrowing a ball, a challenge match was hastily convened on lanes 31 and 32 upstairs. Somehow, John Sullivan had found the PA mike in his hand and began commentating the match for the entire centre to hear. As play progressed, his commentators voice became increasingly camp, which was becoming increasingly awkward, as the Sydney Rams (Sydney's original gay men's bowling league) were all shoe-ing up on lanes 17-24. The secretary walked over and patiently explained to John the extraordinary depth of the faux pax he was making. I remember seeing the blood drain from his face as he realised that about 40 pairs of eyes were looking his way in a mixture of curiosity and annoyance. Mike still in hand, John looked in horror to Rob and John Everson and said "Oh, Robbie! They're all fruits..!" Then made his apologies just as publicly.

For the record, Rob Zikman won the match, although Evvo still looked pretty good for 20 years absence.

John was quick to laugh, especially at his own expense. A kind, intelligent and very funny man has been taken from us way too soon.


Active Member
I remember that match ... bowling was so much more fun than today. I also remember the gentlemen talking to John in his cut out chaps ... was very funny but they took it all in their stride and asked John to commentate on their games. John was certainly one of a kind and bowling is worse off because of his passing.
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