English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : August 1998

The Amateur Billiard Player : August 1998

1922 Boys Championship

The first national championship for boys was organised in 1922
by journalist Harry Young, with the financial support of Harry
Lee who donated a challenge cup. It was open to any boy under
sixteen years residing in the United Kingdom and was played at
Burroughes & Watts Hall in London. The first event attracted 37
entries from all over the country. The heats were 250 up, the semifinal’s
500 up and the final 1,000 up. The winner was 15 year old
Walter Donaldson who would go on to become Professional Snooker
Champion after the retirement of Joe Davis in 1947. Following the
inaugural contest, the Manchester Guardian reported—

“Breaks of
just under SO were common. One boy made nearly 40 off the red,
after losing the white, and another scored 250 in forty-three minutes.
The spectator s included many proud but mystified mothers, several
small tots, girls who wriggled in ecstasy when someone made a
miraculous fluke, and a number of thoroughly disgruntled middle-aged
gentlemen with blue chalk in their waistcoat pockets”

Fred Davis, who died in April this year, was another famous under
16 champion. After a period of intensive coaching from his elder
brother Joe, he won the 1929 event at his first and only attempt.


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