Morecambe bingo legend dies aged 61

Patrick Bowler.
Patrick Bowler.

A local bingo legend who touched the lives of many people throughout his career has died at the age of 61.

Patrick Bowler, a bingo caller at Gala Bingo from 1979 to 2011, was well known for his smart suits and dickie bow ties. He passed away suddenly on Sunday.

Sadly, Patrick had to give up his job as bingo caller six years ago after he got vocal chord cancer.

Despite beating the cancer, his voice was left impaired and he could no longer continue doing the job he loved.

However, he continued to work at Gala Bingo in customer services.

Patrick was born in Limerick on June 10, 1955, and was brought over to the UK with his parents, one brother and four sisters.

They settled in Birmingham and Patrick came to Morecambe to call bingo at the Floral Hall before it was Gala Bingo, where he met his future wife Dianne.

She said: “He developed into quite a good bingo caller, he was very popular and that is how we met through a mutual friend. He asked me out and it went from there. We were married for 29 years.

Patrick won the first ever Bingo caller of the year competition organised by the National Bingo Associati0n in 1994.

Dianne said: “People just loved him.For that competition he won a trip to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I went with him on the trip.

“He went to San Manuel Indian reservation and called bingo there in front of 2000 people.He also did a telephone bingo call from Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.”

Patrick loved his suits and in the good old days of bingo he would wear an ordinary suit in the day and a dress suit at night with a wing collar shirt and a dickie bow tie.

Dianne, 52, of Lancaster, said: “He was a very private man. He absolutely loved his work and got pleasure out of entertaining people but at home he preferred to stay out of the limelight.

“He was young at heart, he didn’t see himself as an old man, he still kept trendy.I’ve got a folder full of his achievements. He always got butterflies but also a buzz out of doing it. “

Former manager at Gala Bingo Mark Swindlehurst said: “Patrick was a legend throughout the whole of Gala Bingo, not just locally. He touched so many people throughout his career and put Morecambe on the map when he won Caller of The Year.He will be missed by so many.”

Funeral arrangements have yet to be made.