Pontefract squash star Willstrop adds bronze to Commonwealth gold medal

James Willstrop.
James Willstrop.

Pontefract Squash Club’s James Willstrop added a bronze medal to his gold in the Commonwealth Games when he and Nottingham’s Declan James beat Scotland’s Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban 11-9 11-9 to earn third place in the doubles.

Afterwards Willstrop said: “They count for so much these Commonwealth medals.

“Any medal that clunks away in the village is a huge thing, people applaud it. It’s a huge thing coming back to Team England’s headquarters with a medal.

“I can’t take anything for granted, I’d like to carry on playing squash for a bit if I can, but I have to take it month by month, you don’t know what your body is going to do next.

“I’m just so thrilled that I took it to a point where I can get through two weeks of this, I’d never dreamed of that four years ago.

“Now I’m not saying I’m not going to go for the next Commonwealth Games or try but it’s going to be an awful long shot, Squash players don’t play at 38 years old, it’s very rare.”

His doubles partner James said: “We are kind of funny creatures, aren’t we? After an hour and a half of drama and stress yesterday I would never have dreamed of coming back on the court again today, but we were on the bus after we lost yesterday and we started laughing because that doesn’t normally happen in squash, going through the motion of losing but then going again.

“On the flip side it was reconciliation today, we realised there was a huge amount to play for.

“I said sat the start of the week, James is the perfect partner. I was over the moon when he won his gold medal, it gave me a huge amount of confidence.

“He picked me up when I was down he calmed me down when I got too excited. His experience is something that I called upon time and time in the last week and I’m so grateful to have him as my partner this year.”