The ICA will hopefully be seeing a bit more of one of our long-standing international curlers when Robin Gray moves back home to Scotland next month to take up a new post in Edinburgh with his employers, The Royal Bank of Scotland.
But the bad news is he has decided to end his Irish international curling career to concentrate on the Scottish Senior Championships in 2016.
During his 15 years as a banking executive in Dublin, the 51-year old has always kept his curling shoes handy and in 2004 he was part of the first Irish men’s team to compete at international level in the European Championships B League. Since then he has racked up the fine total of 95 caps for his adopted county, with 54 wins and 41 losses. Robin played in the team that famously qualified for Ireland’s first world championships in Lowell, USA in 2006. He was in both teams that played the European Champions at A League level in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 2005 and Basle in 2006, where he skipped Ireland to a memorable win over Thomas Ulsrud’s high-class Norwegian foursome. He played in the European B Division in Sophia 2004, Fussen 2007, Aberdeen 2009, Champery 2010 and Moscow 2011, winning a gold, silver and bronze medal. Robin also skipped Ireland at two European Mixed Championships, in Erzurum 2012 and Edinburgh 2013.
Prior to moving to the Emerald Isle he skipped his Greenacres junior team to the Scottish Championships in 1982 going on to win a bronze medal at the World Juniors in Ferdericton, Canada. In 1990 he was Scotland skip at the European Championships in Lillehammer, Norway, where he lost in the final to Sweden by one shot.
Before the removal van arrived, Robin had time to look back over his Irish curling adventures as well as look forward to getting involved in much more curling action in the near future.
He said: ”Playing for Ireland has been an honour and a blast. It has been said that one day we could write a book about it and I may well do! Hopefully being back in Scotland will allow me to curl far more at club level and get my hand back in, which has been lacking too much when trying to play once a year in the Irish playdowns. Also, I look forward to joining in the domestic Irish bonspiels far more than I have been able to in the past.”
The ICA wish Robin and his family all the very best for their move back home and every success in his new role.