World Disability Billiards and Snooker will return to the Hazel Grove Snooker Club this weekend for its opening events of the new calendar year. The Stockport Open 2020 will feature a plethora of current and former champions mixing it with contenders and debut cueists from across several disability classification groups.
Traditional with most WDBS events, the curtain is raised with our ‘Friday Open Day’ where we welcome individuals and groups to the venue, providing them with a relaxed atmosphere where they can learn about the organisation and receive tips from our dedicated coaches. Competitors for the weekend’s tournaments will also arrive and settle in, taking the opportunity to practise on the tables.
Wheelchair and Ambulant Events (Groups 2-5)
Several big-name players will contest the modified Group 2+4 event which features 19 entries.
Multiple-time WDBS main event winner and Scottish international William Thomson is one of the fancied cueists to take the title, as too is wheelchair player Tony Southern, the reigning Belgian Open and UK Disability champion.
Other contenders include former Manchester Classic winner Andy Johnson, last year’s runner-up Peter Yelland, two-time professional major ranking event finalist Dean Reynolds and youngster Ben Rawson.
Twelve months ago, in the keenly contested Group 3 event, John Teasdale claimed his maiden WDBS main event title after a memorable comeback against Joe Hardstaff in the final. Both Teasdale and Hardstaff will be back, as too will former Open Disability champion Nigel Coton and tour regular Kal Mattu.
Defending Group 5 champion Mickey Chambers will be seeking career title number five in Stockport but will face stiff opposition in rivals such as Humber Classic champion David Moore and recent main event finalists Dean Simmons and Ivor Halnosky. 2019 Challenge Cup winner Phil Woodwiss and three-time event semi-finalist Gareth Ward are also set to be present.
Intellectual Disabilities (Groups 6A and 6B)
In Group 6A, Faisal Butt will be looking to retain the title and pocket an incredible fifth victory inside a year. Butt has built up a rivalry with the also successful Michael Busst, who managed to overcome him in the Champion of Champions final in Gloucester last autumn. Warren Ealy and Michael Farrell – the other two qualifiers for that Champion of Champions – will be looking to secure their first gold medals.
Leroy Williams is aiming to continue his recent dominance of Group 6B; the Liverpool based potter currently holds four main event accolades. Amongst the contenders to his title includes Christopher Goldsworthy, runner-up at the 2019 Southern Classic.
You can keep up-to-date with all the action from Stockport throughout the weekend by visiting our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter, and all the latest draws and results via snookerscores.net here.