Norman Spiro, a beloved aficionado of and writer on lawn bowls in Israel, died Saturday morning at Beilinson Hospital Tel Aviv. He was 87.

"One of the things about him was his wonderful sense of humor that he applied to almost everything, and also his love for sports," Yehudit Rozenblat, his partner of nearly 18 years, told Haaretz yesterday. "It was amazing how much he loved sports. He practically lived for sport. And, he was a wonderful companion to me."

Born March 13, 1925, in Durbanville, South Africa, he was an accomplished athlete growing up. He served in the Israel Defense Forces in 1948 and 1949 through Mahal, the volunteer force of soldiers from abroad. He was a car mechanic, fixing vehicles in the 7th Brigade armored division.

He returned to South Africa after the war, and moved to Israel in 1961 with his family: his wife, Mickey, and four children Hazel, Karen, Sheila and Michael. They went to Ulpan Akiva in Netanya and then settled in Ramat Hasharon. He worked for Leyland in Ashdod.

In 1966, after the loss of his middle brother back home, they returned to South Africa, where he worked for the family business. However, the family moved back to Israel in 1971. Spiro helped start Anglo Saxon, the real estate company, with Amos Glazer. He later worked a few years in the South African Zionist Federation before retiring.

However, he was best known for his passion for lawn bowls and his ability to connect to anyone he came in contact with. He strengthened lawn bowls by bringing Israelis into the game, kept meticulous records of every major competition and wrote articles for over 25 years, first for Jerusalem Post and more recently for Haaretz.

Norman is survived by Yehudit; his four children; and eight grandchildren Michal, Yael, Yuval, Neta, Guy, Noa, Mark and James.

He will be buried on Monday at 2:00 P.M. at the Morasha cemetery.