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Obituary

Peter Shelley – Obituary

Peter George Shelley (1941 – 2018)

Peter Shelley did not discover Billiards – he was born into it quite literally. Born at Stafford Constitutional Club, home of his Grandparents where his Grandfather was the Club Steward and a decent player to boot. Peter’s father, a farmer was also a useful player and enjoyed a game of Billiards twice a week well into his eighties.
In Peter’s schooldays he lived with his Grandparents during the week and used to practice on the club tables two hours each morning before school and another hour in the evening. The practice paid off and he became the youngest ever British Boys Snooker Champion at the age of 13 and two years later won both British Boys Snooker & Billiards titles.
Although better known for his Billiards prowess he was no mean Snooker player, I personally watched him compile a break of 141 in a Pro-Am at the Ladbrook Club in Chester and he achieved a maximum 147 break in practice. He ceased playing Snooker competitively in 1988 to concentrate on his Billiards.
Peter’s chosen profession was Hotel Management & Catering, he held managerial positions at several Hotels and Golf Clubs before latterly becoming General Manager at The Reardon, Stoke-on-Trent a position he held for many years. An absolute workaholic, Peter was the first one on the premises in the morning and the last one to leave each night – this happened day after day after day and the only time he relaxed was when he was away from the Club altogether. The ABC at The Reardon became an annual event on the EABA Calendar not just for the quality of the playing conditions but also for the sumptuous Sunday Roasts served up by Peter and his team. I recall on one occasion when Peter needed to win the final ABC of the season to secure his place in the England Team for the following season, he not only blew the field away on the table but still managed to serve up about eighty Sunday Lunches in between!
In 2000 Peter was a founder member of a group of Billiard enthusiasts who were christened the “Loose Cannons” for a tour of New Zealand. They promoted the game of English Billiards on both North and South Island to young and old alike and became tremendous ambassadors for our Sport headed as always by Peter keen to impart his knowledge and experience. These tours continued for several years and even when the Loose Cannons were no longer, Peter enjoyed his annual pilgrimage to NZ and on retirement used to split his time between the UK and New Zealand.
A stickler for the history and tradition of our game Peter was always impeccably dressed both on and off the table. He was Chairman of the EABA for many years and was a fierce campaigner for the Amateur game while having total appreciation for the skills and achievements of the Professionals.
He loved his grandchildren and I was delighted to hear that his cue has been left to his Grandson George who I am sure will cherish that it has been bestowed by his Grandpa. Peter “tried” (Helen’s words not mine) to teach his daughter to play and she has promised she will be taking George to Stafford Constitutional Club where it all began to maintain the family tradition.
His career CV is outstanding:-
  • 1955 British Boys Snooker Champion
  • 1957 British Boys Snooker & Billiards Champion
  • 1967 West Midlands Snooker & Billiards Champion
  • Midland Counties Snooker & Billiards Champion at Junior & Senior level
  • 4 times English Amateur Billiards Runner-Up
  • 3 times National CIU Billiards Championship Runner-Up
  • 4 times British Grand Masters Billiards Champion
  • 5 times New Zealand Open Billiards Champion
  • 11 times winner of New Zealand Open Billiards tournaments
  • Winner of many County, Regional & ABC Billiards events
  • numerous times England International
  • Highest Break – 589 made in an Exhibition with a Grade 1 referee followed by a 385 break very next visit.
Personally, I am grateful to Peter for inviting me to join the Loose Cannons in 2001, for the opportunity to visit and play Billiards in the most spectacular country on the planet. I am indebted for the knowledge and expertise he imparted to me on our beautiful game but above everything I am honoured to have called him a close friend.
God Bless Peter, may you Rest in Peace.
Paul Dunning

 

Audrey Wah Obituary

March 2019

The EABA is saddened to hear of the passing of Audrey Wah, the wife of Harry.
Harry is a life member of the EABA after serving a spell as the Association’s secretary.
Audrey has been fighting illness for some years and on behalf of all EABA members the committee sends its sympathy and kindest thoughts to Harry and his family and friends.

OBITUARY – David Lambert Rees 10th August 1941- 13th June 2019

David was dedicated to the game of billiards for most of his life but as a young man he played both amateur cricket and football and was a lifelong supporter of his local team Derby County. He is one of a group of cueists now in their seventies or early eighties who could be viewed as the early back bone of the current amateur billiards fraternity.

Before the advent of the EABA and the ABC’s a pro-am circuit had been established and was well supported David was ever present at these and succeeded in winning one, a rare occurrence for an amateur but an indication of how good he was in his prime. He turned professional for a short spell but then reverted back to the amateur game.

Davis won the Derbyshire Billiards Championships thirteen times and was ever present in the Derbyshire County Team. This team some years ago, included both Jim McCann and Herbert Beetham and they were a formidable trio.

International status at both full and senior level was achieved on a regular basis and all Davids opponents knew they were in for a tough game. His knowledge and skill, added to a careful and deliberate style, often tested the patience of those he played, David didn’t worry about this, his aim was to play well and win, and rightly so.

Playing the game is one thing but helping is another and he served his time on the EABA committee and was a generous sponsor. All sports can bring out the best in people but sometimes the worst. David was always the perfect gentleman on and off the table. No tantrums, no complaints, but a calm and non-aggressive acceptance of the outcome. After a day’s play in the hotel bar and during the evening his personality blossomed with an infectious laugh and a lovely dry sense of humor. He will be sadly  missed by his friends and teammates.

 

Timmy Murphy

We have just receive the sad news that Irish International player Timmy Murphy has passed away. Our sympathies go out to his family and friends.

John Richmond

The EABA is deeply saddened to announce the death of Mr. John Richmond. He passed away on Sunday 17 May 2015 after a short illness at the age of 77 years.

John was a devoted supporter of the game of billiards. He played in his local league representing his club in Pateley Bridge where both he and his father before him had served numerous years as club officials. He really enjoyed watching billiards, especially the world class players of the modern era.

His involvement with the EABA goes almost back to its beginning. He served as secretary, he was a grade1 referee and also a well organised Tournament Director. He was a life member of our Association and a generous supporter, particularly towards the junior game.

John was liked by everyone. He had a lovely dry sense of humour often accompanied by a cheeky smile: a true gentle man without malice or aggression who will be sadly missed by us all.

The funeral service is at Stonewall Crematorium, Wetherby Road,

Harrogate on Friday 29 May at 13:40

John Smith

The EABA is deeply saddened to learn about the sudden passing away of John Smith.
John passed away at home peacefully but suddenly on Saturday 18th July 2015, shortly after his 72nd birthday.
He was a long standing member of the EABA and served a short spell on its committee. It is true to say that he was well liked by everybody in billiards being a kind, friendly and generous supporter of the game.
John owned the Pockets Snooker Club in Kidderminster as well as one in Worcester and visitors always received a friendly welcome. He also put a great deal back in to the game and organised and ran the Midlands Counties Billiards League for 22 years almost single handed. Such a contribution will be difficult to emulate.
In his prime John was a fine amateur billiards player who displayed an orthodox and uncomplicated game which led to numerous century breaks and international honours in the England Amateur Team.
He will be sadly missed by the billiards fraternity and the EABA sends its sympathy and kindest thoughts to his family and friends.
JOHN SMITH – 1943 to 2015
John’s funeral service will be held at  the Church of St. Martin, Holt, Worcester. WR6 6NJ on Wednesday 5 August at 2 pm.

ALF NOLAN              1927 to 2014

The EABA’s first President Mr Alf Nolan sadly passed away on 6th October after a long fight against cancer. Will there ever be a greater enthusiast of the 3-ball game? Alf was a fine player with an extensive knowledge of  billiards and the people who played it. A compulsive talker about billiards and just about everything else but also interesting and entertaining. Alf’s main profession was as a psychiatric nurse. It is easy to imagine Alf’s personality and outgoing nature being a vital ingredient in a demanding job.

Born in Newcastle he started playing the game as an eight year old and achieved his first century break at the age of thirteen. A Yorkshireman called Harry Plunkett was Alf’s first coach in the Newcastle area. On the  merit board of the club where they practised Harry had top place with a break of 385. In 1946 at the age of 19 Alf gained top spot with a break of 426.

Strangely Alf’s first national title was as the 1950 English Amateur Snooker Champion. In the final he defeated Gary Owen 6-5 after trailing 5-3. Owen was a top amateur who went on to become a leading professional. Billiards was always Alf’s priority but he had to wait until 1964 to gain the national title when he defeated Leslie Driffield in the final. In 1964 he played in the World Amateur Billiards Championship in New Zealand and in 1999 in the IBSF World Championship in Ireland at the age of 72. Over the years he must have travelled thousands of miles around the country by public transport to play billiards. Mention a railway station and Alf had been there on his playing travels and he could describe the place in detail.

 

Roll of Honour

English Amateur Champion  1964.   Runner-up 1955,1965 1966,1970,1972 and1974.

C&IU All England Champion  1953,1956,1967,1968,1969,1971 and 1989

Runner-up  1954,1966 1972,1983 1987 and 1991

 

Alf used to say: ‘but for the presence of the great Norman Dagley I would have won far more titles ‘.

Of the twelve years as runner-up above, seven were due to Norman’s supremacy.

In 1964 on his way to New Zealand he stopped off in Karachi to give an exhibition and was presented with a tray of silver serviette rings for making a break of 390. A few months ago these were auctioned on BBC’s ‘Flog It’. Alf doubled the amount raised and donated £160 to the EABA to be directed to the junior championships. It came as no surprise that he appeared totally at ease on television such was his demeanour and self-confidence.

Alf was a dedicated amateur and a proud President of the EABA. He was also a generous sponsor of the English Amateur and Grand Masters Billiards Championships in recent years.

 

He will be sadly missed but long remembered.

Mike Wright  (10 Shot)

It is with great sadness that I have to tell you of the passing of Mike Wright.

Mike as we all knew him to be 10 SHOT, actually played Peter Gilchrist in a competition when he got his 10 shot and recieved more Euro’s for the 10 shot than Peter did for winning the competition and used to rib Peter about it .

Mike was not only a fine Billiards player but also an accomplished Grade 1 Billiards Referee who was proud to have refereed not only a regular at  ABC’s but also at World Championship level.

Our thoughts are with his family.

I spoke to Theresa last night and she told me that he was fighting his way back to strong health and had just started to put a little weight back on up until last week when things started to go down hill a little.

I have spoken to many EABA members and have all asked me to send our condolences onto Theresa.

R.I.P. Mike a true EABA Gentleman.

From all your Billiard  Collegues

Tom

Tom Terry, who was a popular and ever-present figure on the English billiards circuit, died at his home in Brinsley, Nottingham, on 1st March 2004. He was 71 years of age and had been suffering from cancer of the colon for some time.

Never amongst the top flight of billiard players, he was nevertheless a useful performer, being a lifelong member of the Bulwell Church Institute, Nottingham, for whom he played as a team member in the local leagues. He also won the Nottingham Amateur Billiards Championship on several occasions and appeared in almost every tournament he was eligible to enter. Probably his best result on the national circuit was to reach the quarter-finals of the English Amateur Championship. He also managed to achieve the target of a double-century break, a rare feat for an amateur player.

He was part of the original group of enthusiasts which formed a committee to save the English Billiards Championship after the collapse of the B&SCC in 1992. This action resulted in the formation of the English Amateur Billiards Association the following year.

A lecturer at Nottingham University, he spent many years writing for Snooker Scene becoming known as the “voice of billiards” and in 1991 he founded his own magazine, The Billiards Quarterly Review, which was devoted to the game. Shortly afterwards, he became more involved in the administrative side when he took over the running of the Mini-Prix Pro-Am billiards tournaments. He was eventually forced by ill-health to reduce his commitment to billiards in 1995, when he also ceased publication of his magazine.

During the preceding twelve years he had attended most of the major billiards events to be held in England, and during that time, either covering for “Snooker Scene,” or for his own magazine, had also been present at every professional event.

MARSHALL, Robert (Bob) James Percival

A Legend in Amateur Billiards

Billiards legend Robert (Bob) Marshall, died in his home town of Perth, Western Australia, on Monday 23rd February 2004. He was 93 years of age.

Bob Marshall, seen here in action in 1951

Marshall first saw the light of day in 1910 in the small mining town of Kalgoorie, which had also been the birthplace of Walter Lindrum. Like Walter, he would become one of the most dominant billiard players of his time, albeit in the ranks of the amateur players. He once said “I have been asked many times to turn professional, but have no intention of doing so. I have two ambitions in connection with the game, one of which is to visit England, the other to make a thousand break in championship play.” Although his first ambition was achieved in 1951, the latter remained unfulfilled, although he is credited with a personal best break of 1,056 in practice.

Comparisons with that other great Australian player were made throughout his career. In 1964, Fred Davis observed: “most noticeable about his style is his compactness, so like Walter Lindrum, and the shortness of his back-swing, hardly more than a couple of inches.” While ten years earlier, Lindrum himself had declared that Marshall was one of the greatest amateur players he had ever seen.

Marshall’s first line of work was as a hairdresser, but he subsequently opened a dry-cleaning outlet which led him to success as a businessman. He later entered the world of politics, winning the West Australia State elections and becoming a member of parliament. Physical fitness was always of importance to Marshall. When preparing for vital matches he went to bed at 9.00pm, getting up in time for morning exercises which often included a four-mile run. This regime, and his abstinence from smoking and drinking, were undoubtedly factors in sustaining his standard of play over such an incredible period.

His career was highlighted by winning the World Amateur Billiards Championship on four occasions (1936, 1938, 1951 and 1962), which is more than any other player. He was additionally runner-up three times (1952, 1954 and 1985).

Playing his great rival, Tom Cleary, in the final of the Australian Amateur Billiards Championship in 1953 Marshall compiled a break of 702, which was the highest ever made by an amateur in a championship match. This remained a record until 1984 when it was eventually bettered by Subhash Agrawal’s 716.

Using top-of-the-table techniques for his break-building, all his records were made under the “two-pot” rule, and those which still remain to be beaten under this limitation include: the highest aggregate in two hours play (1,876), also four hours (3,391), and a two-hour session average of 118.7.

Marshall’s billiards career was not only interrupted by the war, when he spent over 4 years in the Royal Australian Air Force, but also his decisions to retire from the game on several occasions, the first time in 1963 and again in 1970. After his first retirement, Marshall made a comeback in 1969 for a series of exhibitions against the late Clark McConachy, and regained his Australian title the same year, defending it successfully in 1970 before calling it a day again. He was once more tempted to make a return in 1985 when, at the age of 75, he won the Australian Championship and just failed to secure another World title when finishing runner-up to Geet Sethi, the Championship that year being held in New Delhi. Speaking at a later function, Marshall raised a laugh as he wryly commented “When the field was declared, the Indians were looking forward to meeting my son.” His last retirement came after winning his 21st Australian Billiards Championship in 1986 – the first of these victories having come fifty years earlier!

Even though he is known essentially as a Billiards player, Marshall also contested four Australian amateur snooker finals, was champion in 1956 and had a personal best break of 139. Not a bad record in itself, but almost a footnote compared to his other achievements.

In 1960 Robert Marshall was made a “Life Member” of the Western Australian Billiards Association, in recognition of the services he has rendered to billiards both in Australia and overseas. Three years later he was named Western Australia’s Sportsman of the Year, and finally, in 1980, national recognition came his way with the award of the “Medal of the Order of Australia” (OAM).