Posts by: Matt Huart

Group 8 Announcement

Following consultation with players and other interested parties the decision was taken earlier this year to introduce a restriction on the wearing of hearing aids and cochlear implants during Group 8 tournaments at World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) events.

This rule was implemented on a trial basis of three events (Open Disability Snooker Championship, Champion of Champions and the Hull Open) in order to evaluate its impact upon players and WDBS tournaments.

Following the end of that trial period and after careful consideration, taking into account feedback from players, we have now taken the decision to remove the restriction on the use of hearing aids and cochlear implants during play. This is to be effective immediately, with players again able to wear their aids at the next Group 8 event which will be the Southern Classic next March.

We do, however, remain supportive of the Deaflympics programme and have the aspiration to see snooker take its place at the Deaflympics in the future. Should we move closer to achieving this goal we would look to stage tournaments without hearing aids for elite players who wish to play in Deaflympics competitions, at which their use would remain strictly prohibited.

We understand that this issue has been a serious matter for our deaf players in recent months and we would again like to thank you for your patience and understanding.

We look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.

Northern Classic to be Staged at Hazel Grove

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) has today announced that the first event of 2019 will be the Northern Classic, to be held at the Hazel Grove Snooker Club in Stockport from 8-10 February.

The event is to include competitions for players with physical and learning disabilities, with all tournaments to be staged across two days (Saturday and Sunday).

It will be the first time that a WDBS event has been staged at Hazel Grove, which boasts an impressive 26 snooker tables and is a gold member of The 147 Club, the official club affiliation scheme of the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards.

Open Day

In addition to two days of tournament snooker the weekend will begin with a Friday open day which will provide opportunities for people with disabilities to come and pick up a cue.

Open to people of all levels of experience, those attending will be encouraged to get involved with activities at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone, with activities to be coordinated by WPBSA World Snooker coach Steve Rutter.

There will also be opportunities for existing players to be able to practice ahead of the weekend’s tournaments.

Further information, including details of online entry and proposed changes to the WDBS disability classification system will be released shortly.

Disability Snooker Supports Paris 2024 Olympic Bid

Billiard sports launched its bid to become part of the Paris 2024 Olympic Sports programme last Friday at a special ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Hosted by the Billiards 2024 Committee and supported by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) and World Snooker, the event represents a significant milestone billiard sports’ bid for inclusion at the Paris 2024 Games.

Among those present were WPBSA Vice Chairman Nigel Mawer QPM and former world professional snooker champion Shaun Murphy, who joined senior representatives from the Fédération Française de Billard (FFB) and other international organisations to support the bid.

Billiard sports previously applied to join the Olympic programme for the Tokyo 2020 Games and three years on is in a significantly stronger position to be successful as cuesports continue to grow globally.

The first step to securing Olympic status for 2024 was taken earlier this year by the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS), the umbrella organisation representing snooker, pool and carom billiards, when the formal submission for billiard sports to be included as an additional sport at the Paris Games was made with the full cooperation of the FFB.

A sport for all

Snooker in particular has a proven track record of staging high-quality international events with the World Snooker Tour now comprising 27 major tournaments around the world, with a television reach of 1.6 billion homes. The sport is played in approximately 100 countries with players from across the globe regularly participating.

The sport is strongly represented at both professional and amateur levels and under the guidance of former WCBS President Jason Ferguson and former General Secretary Maxime Cassis, was successfully included at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw at which leading professional Kyren Wilson of England won the prestigious gold medal.

Snooker’s International Federation the World Snooker Federation (WSF) has since brought together professional and amateur bodies, including women’s and disability organisations, providing opportunities for all to compete on the same field of play.

WSF President Jason Ferguson said: “Today represents an important landmark in what is a serious bid for the inclusion of billiard sports at the Paris 2024 Games. With the levels of participation in our great sport consistently increasing and new opportunities being created by the WSF and its partners for people across the globe to be able to pick up a cue, the sport has never been in a stronger position to take its rightful place on the Olympic programme.”

Following today’s announcement of the bid, next year will see a further demonstration event staged in Paris which will showcase the Olympic values of billiard sports.

For more information about the Billiards 2024 Committee and please visit:

Continued Growth for Disability Snooker

Disability snooker has made significant strides since the formation of World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) three years ago.

A subsidiary company of snooker’s world governing body the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), WDBS has hosted regular weekend events including a mix of competitive tournaments and open days since 2015 for people with disabilities to enjoy snooker. Open to people with physical disabilities (wheelchair and ambulant), as well as learning and sensory disabilities including hearing and visual impairments, WDBS events aim to be as inclusive as possible.

Record entries

Through a combination of extensive promotion both through social media and local disability groups, as well as word of mouth from people who have enjoyed being involved at events, WDBS has seen significant growth in recent months. The WDBS Welsh Open in July saw an impressive 55 entries received for the weekend competition, a record subsequently shattered at the Fizz Open Disability Snooker Championship in September with over 80 players competing across the weekend.

As well as those participating in the weekend tournaments, WDBS has also welcomed several local disability groups to its Friday Open Days, with many people with disabilities given the opportunities to try snooker under the guidance of accredited WPBSA World Snooker coaches.

Through its close relationship with both the WPBSA and World Snooker, WDBS has been able to create new opportunities for players outside of its own events, for example to compete at able bodied tournaments on the World Seniors Snooker Tour and World Snooker Q School.

Players have also been able visit professional events, receiving backstage tours and the opportunity to meet their heroes and key figures in the sport, including international Paralympic broadcaster and snooker MC Rob Walker and former world professional champion Shaun Murphy who have both visited events.

The highlight comes each April at the professional World Championship in Sheffield when players are invited to be a part of the annual World Snooker Disability Day, Including an exclusive backstage tour of the Crucible Theatre and the chance to take part at ‘Cue Zone’ with the BBC presentation team.

Paralympic dream

The long-term ambition of WDBS remains to see snooker restored to its rightful place at the Paralympic Games. It is a little-known fact that snooker was one of the founding sports of the Paralympic Movement at Stoke Mandeville and was included at the Games as recently as 1988 in Seoul when the late Mick Langley claimed the gold medal.

Key to securing a Paralympic return is for WDBS to encourage greater international participation and there has been significant progress in achieving this goal in recent months.

Earlier this year WDBS held its inaugural Belgian Open, the first WDBS event outside of the UK as featured during the BBC’s coverage of this year’s professional World Championship in the spring. WDBS has also welcomed players from Hong Kong, Poland, Belgium and India to UK-based events in recent months with new enquiries being received on a regular basis.

Through its membership of the World Snooker Federation, snooker’s International Federation supported by the WPBSA, WDBS has established close relationships with approximately 50 national and regional federations across the globe. WDBS is keen to work with both other countries to host new disability tournaments and also to provide opportunities for disabled players to compete in major able-bodied tournaments.

China open day

Snooker has of course seen its most significant growth in the professional game in China over the past decade and earlier this year WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer and WPBSA Sport Development Manager Chris Hornby visited the China Administration of Sports for Persons with Disabilities (CASPD) in Beijing to explore future partnership opportunities.

Following successful talks, a unique open day was held at Beijing’s WPBSA-CBSA World Snooker Academy in early August with the support of the Beijing Disabled Persons’ Federation, WPBSA, CBSA, and Beijing Rigour Culture & Media. More than 40 disabled people were given the chance to try snooker through fun activities and exercises arranged by CBSA coaches and WDBS will continue to work with its partners to provide further opportunities in the future.

“A sport for all”

Nigel Mawer, vice-chairman of the WPBSA has chaired WDBS since its formation in 2015 and Is proud of the growth that he has witnessed during that time.

“I am extremely proud of how WDBS has developed and grown over the past three years,” said Mawer. “I would like to thank every single player, parent/family member, carer, official and director who has helped and supported us on our journey this far. Although WDBS is still in its infancy as an organisation and we have a lot of work still to do to reach our ultimate goal of getting snooker back into the Paralympic Games, we have already come a long way since our first event in Gloucester.”

Mickey Chambers, Nigel Mawer QPM and Rob Walker stood smiling

It is however perhaps the coming years that are most exciting as WDBS looks to capitalise on the expansion it has witnessed so far.

“Our aims over the next few years are to grow the number of countries involved and add more international events to our existing calendar,” continued Mawer. “We see snooker as sport for all and WDBS will continue to raise the standards and create new opportunities for disabled players to challenge alongside any other player to compete as professionals. WDBS is also working hard to introduce grassroots projects internationally to develop the next generation of disabled snooker players. We are hoping to use technology in ambitious and innovative ways to remove barriers and bring players with disabilities together more easily. We have big plans and I am looking forward to see where we will be in another three years.”

Tony Southern Appointed WDBS Players Representative

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to announce that Tony Southern has been appointed as its first WDBS Players Representative.

Southern, who competes in WDBS events as a Group 2 player, has vast experience in cue sports, both as a player for nearly 35 years and in recent years as an administrator, including his roles as chairman of the British Wheelchair Pool Players Association and President of the British Pool Federation.

This made him an obvious candidate to take on what is an important role in communicating the views of our players to the board. WDBS has always been keen to listen to any views and concerns of all players and would encourage players to contact Tony should they have a concern that they do not wish to communicate directly to us.

Tony Southern said: “I’m looking forward immensely to this new role and hope to help WDBS go from strength to strength.”

Tony will be looking to work with people from other classification groups in due course to ensure that players from all groups are given equal opportunity to raise any concerns that they may have.

To contact Tony please contact him via Facebook, email ( or by mobile on 07736551771.


Disability Snooker Success at Hull Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) brought the curtain down on a record-breaking year for disability snooker with the staging of the third Hull Open tournament last weekend.

Once again held at the Tradewell Snooker Club in Hull, the event saw competitions held for deaf and partially sighted players across the weekend, as well as a one-day competition for people with learning disabilities on Friday.

The event was sponsored for the first time by Humber Fish Co, with co-owner James Stockdale attending during the event’s final day for the medal presentation to the players.

Neale defends title

Coventry’s Nick Neale completed the successful defence of his Hull Open title following a comfortable 4-0 victory against David Baker in Sunday’s final.

Neale had already made fond memories at the event which saw him make his WDBS debut back in 2016, before he won his maiden title a year and he was once again the standout player in Group 7 this time around.

Having dropped two frames during the round robin group stage, he then saw off David Martin in the semi-finals and then David Baker in the final with a perfect record. He also made seven of the top ten breaks in the Group including a top run of 68.

Five-star Shabir

In Group 8 there was victory for Blackburn’s Shabir Ahmed, who defeated newcomer Mick Chew 4-0 in the final to win his fifth WDBS title.

Ahmed, who had previously not come out on top in Hull, did not have things all his own way however and came within one ball of defeat during a tight semi-final contest with Daniel Harvest, before coming through in a deciding frame.

The final would prove more one-sided however as the man who only last week finished in third place at this year’s Deaf Sports Personality of the Year Awards, whitewashed Grimsby’s Mick Chew to secure the title.

It was an extra-special weekend for Ahmed as he made the weekend high-break of 81 during the round-robin group stages.

Harwood, Busst victorious in Group 6

For the first time our Friday event saw separate tournaments held for both people who have learning disabilities (Group 6A) and those with autism spectrum disorder (Group 6B).

In Group 6A there was a maiden title success for regular player Mike Busst, who defeated Faisal Butt in the final to secure victory.

Meanwhile in Group 6B there was an impressive sixth WDBS victory for Liverpool’s Daniel Harwood, who topped a six-player group ahead of Andrew Galley.

The latest success for Harwood sees him draw level with Group 3 star Daniel Blunn for the most WDBS titles won by an individual player since the first event was held back in November 2015.

Once again WDBS would like to thank all of the players, officials, supporters and our hosts at the Tradewell Snooker Centre who have also provided an extra prize to the finalists of both the Group 7 and 8 events, who will be invited to attend an exhibition with snooker icon Jimmy White early next year.

We would also like to thank our coaching team of Steve Rutter and Chris Lovell, who managed the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone during the weekend and helped both groups and individual players to engage with snooker.

Our next event will be the Northern Classic which will run from 8-10 February 2018, with further information to be announced very shortly.

View full tournament results from the competition via MySnookerStats here.

View event photos at our Facebook page here.

View the updated WDBS Roll of Honour here.

New Plans For Disability Snooker Coaching

We are today excited to confirm new developments for coaching at World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) events, with WPBSA World Snooker coach Steve Rutter to lead coaching at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone from the upcoming Hull Open.

WDBS was created with the goal of providing more opportunities for people with disabilities to play snooker competitively, however equally as important as tournament play is the inclusion of people with disabilities in what we firmly believe is a sport for all. This has been encouraged by regular open days at the start of each of our events at which people with disabilities can try snooker, whether they are experienced players or are picking up a cue for the first time, with accredited WPBSA World Snooker coaches on hand to provide guidance and advice free of charge.

As part of our ongoing development we have now identified a need to provide greater structure at these open days and increased opportunity for people to participate in group sessions. To help us to provide this service we are pleased to be working with experienced snooker coach Steve Rutter, who has a background in education and working with people with learning disabilities. Steve has been in regular attendance at WDBS events during the past 18 months, both mentoring the individual players including Blake Munton and Josh Morrison and also supporting our wider coaching activities.

“I feel honoured and privileged to be asked to be lead coach at WDBS events,” said Rutter. “It means a lot to me on a personal level to be entrusted with this role and I am excited by the plans that we have to take the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone to the next level.”

“It has been great to be a part of WDBS coaching days recently and they have been a real eye-opener for me. I already knew that there was a need for coaching at disability events but I didn’t know the range of abilities within disability snooker. I’ve been really impressed by the actual ability of some of the players and what they have to overcome just to be able to play.

“I have taken a lot from it personally, with respect to how I approach the game when coaching people with disabilities. I enjoy coaching Blake who has come on leaps and bounds in recent months and I have seen the progression of a lot of players over the year I’ve been involved.”

Since the start of the 2018/19 season our Coaching Zone has been sponsored by Go Green Energy, the Tamworth-based independent renewal able energy company for whom our most-decorated player Daniel Blunn works for full-time when he is not on the baize. Rutter was part of the coaching team at the recent Open Disability Snooker Championship in Northampton at which new group sessions were introduced for the first time, something that the team plans to build upon further at future events.

“The goal in Northampton was to be more structured,” explains Rutter. “For the people who were just coming for the Friday to try the sport and see what was going on, the difference was that the day was not ad hoc. We had a team of coaches there and they were allocated tables and specific coaching sessions for which people coming for the first time could book sessions.

“For example I ran a table for demonstration and discussion, including a 20 minute session on the subject of stun, top and screw shots. We had discussions around the issues that each player with specific disabilities have with a stun shot, e.g with some disabilities such as cerebral palsy it is about their balance, while people in wheelchairs have a longer cue extension from bridge to ball so I had to think on my feet to come up with solutions.

“Looking forward to our next event the Hull Open I have already worked on a guided timetable of events which will be set out on a board and people can put their names down for particular sessions. We plan to have at least three tables, for demonstration and discussion, one-to-one sessions and traditional Cue Zone style activities, but will also remain flexible to accommodate people’s needs on the day. I am really looking forward to it!”

The Go Green Energy Coaching Zone will return as part of the Hull Open, to be held at the Tradewell Snooker Club on Friday 16th November from 10:00am, with Steve and his team of expert coaches on hand to welcome both new and returning faces on the day.

Learn more about the Hull Open here.

Nigel Mawer, Rob Reed and Simon Berrisford stand smiling

Vote for Your Favourite Cue Case for Player of the Season Prize:

At the start of this season we announced a new award to recognise our ‘WDBS Player of the Season’ and today you can have your say as to what the final prize will look like.

As well as earning the unique distinction of becoming the WDBS Player of the Season for 2018/19, the player will also receive a fantastic bespoke cue case designed and hand crafted by RR Cue Cases, to include the WDBS logo on its exterior and the name of the winner on its handle.

Thanks to RR Cue Cases, we now also have three potential designs to choose from and we just couldn’t decide – so we are giving the choice to you! Each design shows two images, one of the outside of the case and the second illustrating how the interior will appear.

To vote simply select your favourite design from the options below and click vote. The poll will run until the end of 2018 with the design with the most votes to be turned into a unique prize to be presented to the winner next year.


Please select your favourite WDBS cue case design by RR Cue Cases:

Design 1
Design 2
Design 3
Created with PollMaker

Winners Crowned at Champion of Champions

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) successfully staged its prestigious new Parris Cues Champion of Champions event for the first time last weekend in Gloucester.

Held at the South West Snooker Academy, the event brought together 24 players who competed across six competitions representing each of our regular disability classification groups to determine this year’s overall champions.

As well as prize money, the players were competing for the magnificent Nick Oliver Trophy (learn more about Nick and his story here), as well as a place at next year’s World Snooker Federation Championships in Dubai, with travel/hotel costs to be paid by regular WDBS sponsors 360Fizz.

Physical disabilities

There was victory for Daniel Lee in the Groups 1-2 wheelchair competition as he defeated the experienced Tony Southern 4-2 to win his biggest WDBS title to date.

Already a three-time WDBS champion coming into the event, Lee narrowly defeated two-time WDBS champion Graham Bonnell 3-2 in his opening match before edging out Craig Welsh and Tony Southern to qualify for the final, while Southern also survived a close match with Bonnell on his way to securing second position in the group.

It was a close final in which Tony threatened to a force a deciding frame, but it was Lee who was able to pot the final colours and secure victory.

“It has been a great honour to be part of this event this weekend,” said Lee. “I am very happy. The prize on offer [a place in Dubai] was definitely in the background and it was a very tight, tough match in the final. Tony has been around a long time and it became a bit of a battle, but I am just happy to get through it.

“It [a place at the WSF Championships] has given me motivation to practice for sure. To be able to go out there and represent WDBS and show what people in a wheelchair can do, I will give myself every chance and practice hard. Realistically it is going to be tough for me but I’m going to enjoy the experience and I’m grateful to be there. I just want to go over and promote this brand [WDBS] and what we are all about. We will conduct ourselves in the right way, enjoy it and give it our best shot.”

In Group 3 there was a win for Daniel Blunn who became the first player to reach the milestone of having won six WDBS titles following a 4-2 victory against Scotland’s William Thomson in the final.

The event marked a significant turnaround for Daniel who lost 4-0 to Thomson in the final of last month’s Open Disability Snooker Championship in Northampton, his third final loss to his rival since 2016. This weekend however saw Blunn record a comfortable 3-0 victory against the Scot in the round robin group stage, before coming out on top a 4-2 winner in the overall group final to book his place on the plane to Dubai next spring.

“I know I have won five tournaments prior to this but I have been beaten by William in three finals so obviously I am glad to win this one, it is my time,” said Blunn, who has cerebral palsy. “I’ve beaten him before in group games here and in Preston, but never in a final so it was good to get one back I suppose. He didn’t play as well as he can to be honest and I didn’t either, but I was able to pot the crucial balls and crucial times, stay in front and got through.”

Earlier this year Daniel became the inaugural winner of the WDBS Belgian Open in his classification, a trip that was actually his first ever overseas and he can now look forward to his second snooker tournament outside of the UK in Dubai.

“I will have to bring some sun tan lotion, it’s quite hot so I hear!” added Blunn. “It will be very tough but there are six pockets, we have all got tips on the end of our cues, let’s have a go and see what we can do. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be there. There’s no reason why we can’t compete among able-bodied people, everyone can play snooker.”

Meanwhile in Group 4-5 we saw David Church come through the field to win his second WDBS title with a 4-1 victory against David Moore.

Having been invited to the event as a late replacement for India’s Raja Subramanian, David Moore impressed in the round robin group stages by winning both of his matches to top the group. Despite taking the opening frame in the final however, it was Church, who had already come through a long match on Sunday morning against Andy Johnson to qualify for the final, who took the next four to win his first title since the 2017 Open Disability Snooker Championship.

“I didn’t really play well all weekend really, but I kept hanging in there, doing what I could do and I managed to get the win on the weekend,” said Church. “To come through a four and a half hour match in the final knowing that whoever won would get to the final, I was happy I got through and that I had given myself a chance. Now I’ve won this one, I have got a trophy to take home and a plane ticket to Dubai so I am very happy.

“Dubai will be the furthest that I have ever travelled, it’s amazing whether I win a match or not. I am not going to go there expecting to win, I am just going to play and if I win a game I will be happy and if not it’s a great experience.”

Groups 6-8

In the Group 6 classification group for players with intellectual disabilities there was a fifth WDBS title for Daniel Harwood, who defeated fellow Liverpudlian Andrew Galley 5-1 in the final. The pair had already enjoyed a high-quality match in the round robin stages which saw four breaks made over 50 including a tournament-high run of 77 by Harwood on his way to a 4-2 win and it was the serial champion who was able to repeat that victory in the final.

In Group 7 there was a third WDBS title for Coventry’s Nick Neale, who whitewashed four-time champion Paul Smith to complete a dominant weekend during which he dropped just two frames in Gloucester.

“I am over the moon because there is such a big prize at the end of it,” said Neale. “It has been a long couple of days but I am really happy to win. It means the world to me because it has been a long road back for me to pick my cue up again, I didn’t think that I would ever play again but my girlfriend and my dad gave me a kick up the backside and said I was too good not to play. This is a dream because I have put a lot of hard work in and to be going to Dubai to play in such a great event, I am really looking forward to it.

“My goal coming into the weekend was to try to play good snooker and to get to the final and then I thought to myself over the best of nine, even if you go two or three behind you can still get back into the match. The atmosphere out there was great and to be back playing in an arena like that was definitely a good buzz.”

The final match of the weekend to finish was a dramatic Group 8 final which saw Lewis Knowles edge out Shabir Ahmed 5-4 to win his first ever WDBS title, after three previous final defeats to Ahmed during the past 18 months.

The tone was set in the opening frame which was won by Knowles on a re-spotted black, with the underdog moving into a 4-2 lead after the first six frames. Back however came four-time WDBS champion Ahmed, a clearance of 22 in frame eight bringing him back level and forcing a deciding frame for the title.

Having suffered close defeats to Ahmed in the past, it was impressive to see Knowles perhaps play his best frame of the match when it really mattered, eventually coming through on the colours to secure the title and become this year’s Champion of Champion in the deaf classification group.

The event was sponsored for the first time by Parris Cues, with founder and renowned cue maker John Parris on site throughout the weekend and on hand to present the trophies. Each player received their own trophy to take home and keep in recognition of their achievement this year, as well as being presented with the stunning Nick Oliver Trophy, a perpetual trophy which will have the names of each of our winners engraved on its base following this event.

WDBS would like to thank John for his support and also Cathy and Vince, who joined us on what was an emotional final day of the event for both as their late son Nick Oliver was remembered during the presentation of the trophy.

We would also like to thank Tony Cannon, who volunteered his services to help us provide live streaming of a WDBS event via YouTube for the first time, while regular helper Michael Day also provided excellent commentary during the weekend, supported by other members of the WDBS team and players. You can watch back all of the footage from the weekend here.

Finally, we would also like to thank all of the players, officials, supporters and our venue at the South West Snooker Academy, which of course was where the WDBS began with its first event back in 2015. The continued growth of the organisation owes its thanks to the support that has been received by many and we will continue to provide more and more opportunities for disabled people to play cuesports in the future.

View full tournament results from the competition via MySnookerStats here.

View event photos at our Facebook page here.

View the updated WDBS Roll of Honour here.

The Nick Oliver Trophy

Action at the inaugural WDBS Parris Cues Champion of Champions is now underway; whilst each classification group will be playing their own event, collectively all the competitors in Gloucester will be aiming to win the Nick Oliver Trophy.

Nick was a very popular character on the cuesports scene, both as a player and a fan, for many years. Born in Clapham in 1973, Nick suffered from brittle bone disease which meant he required the use of a wheelchair. His condition also later caused him to become deaf.

However Nick, who worked as an administrator for the Lewisham Council, discovered a profound love for Snooker – a passion that he never relinquished.

Watching the sport as a youngster his baize hero was Willie Thorne. Nick’s mother could see the admiration he had for him and decided to start writing to her son’s snooker idol.

Through these letters a friendship blossomed. Willie got to know Nick and his family well, every year he would send them complimentary tickets to watch the World Championship at the Crucible Theatre. The former World Number 7 and Classic champion also encouraged Nick to participate in playing the sport.

Needing a cue to take it up, Thorne put him in contact with the world renowned cuemaker John Parris, who supplied Nick with the relevant equipment moving forward. John too developed a long lasting bond with him. It is fitting that Parris Cues is the title sponsor of the WDBS Champion of Champions.

As well as snooker, Nick competed in American 9-Ball Pool where he was frequently seen on the British Wheelchair Pool Players Association (BWPPA) tour. Recently as 2016 he topped the Challenge Tour rankings list and was named the Player of the Year. He won several events and trophies during his time on the circuit.

Nick, who had a brother and was also a lover of music, sadly passed away in 2017. In tribute of his friendliness, the way he conducted himself despite adversity and his impact within the sport, it feels right that the trophy at the WDBS’ most lucrative event is named in his honour. His legacy will always live on.

Article written by Michael Day for The Cue View.