Our move to retain the status of the Amateur Billiards
game has been called a “heroic stance that is totally
justifiable” by no other than Mark Wildman the Chairman
of the Professional Billiards Committee.
He goes on to say “you will win your argument
to keep the English Amateur title and to play for the
Amateur Championship trophy. The professional players in
England never wanted to be involved in the Amateur, the
current argument is not one of our making”.
This reflects the views of the pro’s I’ve talked
to personally. I’ve spoken to Gilchrist, Russell, Chapman,
Causier and Wildman and they have all said they would not
enter even if it were available to them.
So who were the IBSF/WPBSA/EASB arguing for?
Our current position is as per letter to Nigel Oldfield
the Chairman of the EASB.
His response (16th January) is that our position will be
put to the EASB Executive and will take 2/3 weeks to
I have been heartened at the members suggestion and the
confirmed response, without dissension, that players are
to play in the Amateur without prize money this year to
allow the entry fees to be used as a funding base of the
Many “mercenary minded” cuemen are astounded, they
obviously don’t know billiard players are enthusiasts first
sportsmen second and wonderful people thereafter.
The 103 entry English Amateur, whilst not a record, is a
vindication of the stance taken and a healthy entry.
It carries a couple of milestones, in that, Alf Nolan’s
50th consecutive year of entry is undoubtedly a record
and there surely can’t have been a younger entrant than 12
years 1 month Robin Wilson.
Robin celebrated his birthday on November 19th and played
his North Eastern (where else?) qualifying game in
December. He was in contention up to the end of the first
hours play but faltered and lost to Lee Lagan the former
British Junior Champion.
Just how many junior players are out there?
Teesside’s position is known throughout the world, this year
we had 263 entrants in the league knockout and 93 in the
under 15 competition. We know of Dean Bavister (Peterborough)
and Adam Lewis (Cambridge) and formerly Peter Sheehan (Widnes)
now an 18/19 year old, but are there any others? With the
British boys (under 16’s) and British Juniors (under 19’s) to
be organised it would be nice to expect entrants other than
I was surprised and disappointed to be advised of
the demise of the Billiards Quarterly Review. It was the
only “billiards only” journal which gave information on
what is going on or had happened in our sport. It was a vehicle
to express and seek views which I and I’m sure others
enjoyed. We owe a debt and gratitude for Tom Terry’s
endeavours in producing the BQR. The terse announcement
to cease the publication left me wondering why? Was it
time commitments, cost of new print, health problems,
politics within the game? Tom, it might be none of our
business, but why?
Alf Nolan received his bus pass a couple or so years ago
but doesn’t like people to be aware of his age. The
Newcastle based player who commuted to Teesside for many
years service with Middlesbrough’s Western Social Club
proved his continuing capabilities by establishing a
record break in the Ashington Veterans League. When
competing against Colin Cairns in the Jordan and
Stephenson Individual competition Alf ran in a break of
220. Well done Alf, it’s nice to know you can still do it!
Talking of someone who can do it, can anyone beat this,
or have knowledge of anyone who has? Chris Shutt aged
18 has set another record in the Teesside Boys Billiards
League. The British under 19 Champion and English
Amateur finalist improved his own record position by
scoring (wait for it) 507 points in the 30 minute game and
his opponent scored 5. That’s 17 points per minute! Chris
had breaks of 211, 220 and 57 – any advances?
The Teesside Boys League has submitted its new Roll of
Honour booklet to the organisers of the Guinness Book of
Records seeking consideration of an entry into future