As both Snooker and Billiards
are now recognised as young mens games, I find myself wondering what
happened to certain players who graced our television screens only a few short
Most people who keep even a
casual eye on Snooker these days are well aware of the coaching skill of Terry
Griffiths. Terry was world Snooker champion in 1979 and won a host of other
titles throughout his career including both Benson & Hedges titles and was
a stalwart of the top sixteen for many seasons. It is also common knowledge
that Terry has a Snooker club in Llanelli in South Wales and that he promotes
events to support the development of young players throughout the country.
I find myself wondering about
other players who will have shared the spotlight with Terry in many a match up
and down the country. I know that Mike Hallett, a former Masters runner up
often does excellent commentary work for Sky Sports but what does he do for the
rest of the year? I know that it is really none of my business but cant
help being interested.
I read with more than a little
disappointment of the retirement of Darren Morgan some years ago. Darren
withstood a terrible few years both on and off the table. I for one was behind
him, in fact I was in the audience when he won his recent, Pontins professional
title and enjoyed every minute of it. A friend of mine was with me and got a
little carried away, shouting best in Wales Darren, the comment was
meant as a compliment as Darren had just beaten Mark Williams. Perhaps Darren
will open a snooker club, like Mr Griffiths.
I hope that his fellow
professionals support him should he make such a choice, as a good launch can
make such a difference to a new club.
I also wonder about Tony Meo,
Tony was for many years the youngest player to make a 147 in a competition,
until Ronnie OSullivan took the record a few years ago. Tony showed a
side of his Snooker playing ability, a style that proved him worthy of his top
sixteen position when carrying Steve Davis in the world doubles championships.
Seriously Tony was determined and resolute throughout the doubles tournaments
that he and Steve won, often taking full advantage when Steve forced an
opening. Just the kind of doubles partner that anyone would want at this level.
Perhaps Tony runs a chain of quality clothing stores or a restaurant, I am
afraid that I can not say.
Another player with tremendous
talent was the New Zealander, Dene OKane, I remember him playing Steve
Davis in the world team cup, what a match. Dene may well work for his local
library as custodian of his beloved Spencer on Snooker book, the
one that he studied as a youngster due to lack of sufficiently skilled
opposition. I also like that particular book, so feel a particular empathy for
Dene as he used it to hone his game.
I also remember the play and the
infectious, knowledgeable commentaries of David Taylor, the "Silver Fox". I
always had the feeling that the Fox would have been happier running a bookshop,
selling antiquarian books rather than competing on the Snooker circuit. His
ability was tremendous, he once famously completed three consecutive total
clearances, a world record at the time. I know that he used a Burwat Champion
cue for a time, whether his record breaking clearances were made with such a
cue is a mystery to me, I would like to think that they were. I also remember
David's commentary on Steve Daviss 147, never has a person seemed so
supportive and positive about what was unfolding on the table as he was that
night, another piece of history that was enhanced by Davids
I hope that the players that I
have mentioned are all well and that should a seniors world championship ever
take place as a major undertaking, that they would be given the opportunity to
take part. Darren you may have to wait a while, but I hope that you would give
it a go, as a former Asian Open champion, you will one day be a fine edition to
such an event.