Category: General News

WDBS Enjoys Successful Manchester Return

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) enjoyed a successful return to Manchester with the staging of the J&S Trading Manchester Classic 2017 last weekend.

With a field over double in size compared to the inaugural competition at Q’s Sports Bar a year ago, players from across six categories including physical and learning disabilities enjoyed a mixture of competitive snooker and coaching across the three-day event.

The Group 1-2 wheelchair competition was won by Newport’s Craig Welsh, who successfully defended the title that he won a year ago with a dramatic 2-1 victory against Tony Southern. Having each progressed through to the overall final undefeated, the pair split the first two frames before their decider went all the way, with Welsh potting a re-spotted black to clinch the title.

Welsh, who has paraplegia, said: “It was tight all the way but I am delighted to retain my title here in Manchester. I would like to thank WDBS and all of the referees and helpers for yet another well run event in Manchester this weekend. The team do a great job and I would also like to thank Andy Rogers for his help and support this weekend which is much appreciated as always.”

In Group 3 there was a second WDBS title for Daniel Blunn, who won 12 of his 13 frames across the event culminating in a 2-0 success against Gary Sanderson to take the first prize. Blunn, who has been a regular at WDBS events since his victory at the first ever event in Gloucester back in 2015, finished as runner-up in Manchester a year ago to William Thomson, but this year went one better to join Craig Welsh, Graham Bonnell, Raja Subramanian and Paul Smith as a multiple WDBS champion. Blunn also claimed the high break prize from the weekend across all groups.

There was a new winner in the Group 4-5 competition as David Weller defeated David Church 2-0 to win the title. The category was won a year ago by Andy Johnson who made smooth progress through his group this weekend, but was shocked in the semi-finals by WDBS newcomer Church. Ultimately however it was Weller who took the title, also making the highest break of the category along the way.

As at previous tournaments, there was also a Challenge Cup competition held, won by Joe Hardstaff, who a year on from his tournament debut defeated Gavin Gormley over a single frame to take his first medal at a WDBS event.

Prior to the start of the two-day event for players with physical disabilities, Manchester also staged its first Learning Disability Day for Group 6 players, including opportunities for practice, coaching and a competitive Six Red competition. The event was won by Robert Kirby, one of a number of players in attendance from the Selby Gateway Leisure Mencap Society, who returned having enjoyed their first taste of WDBS snooker at the Hull Open last November.

The event was well supported by players, sponsors and also welcomed Coronation Street star Cherylee Houston, who has been diagnosed with the rare connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, to its Friday open day and Group 6 competition.

WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer said: “I am delighted by the success of what has been our most active and engaging event held to date. The WDBS is now really starting to make its mark and I could not have been happier with the support that we have received from all of the players, helpers and sponsors without whom the event would not have been possible.

“In particular I would like to mention the backing received from title sponsor J&S Trading through Simon Berrisford, which has already pledged its support for future WDBS events including our return to Manchester in 2018. Together with the contributions that we have received from them and our other prize money sponsors including LITEtask and the PHMG Foundation, our events and organisation will only continue to grow.”

The next WDBS tournament will be the first ever 2017 Paul Hunter Disability Classic on 12-14 May 2017 at the Derby Cueball. The competition will be the third WDBS event open to players with sensory disabilities (Groups 7-8) and is currently accepting entries.

Paul Hunter Foundation Supports WDBS Derby

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) has today announced a new agreement with the Paul Hunter Foundation for the title sponsorship of the next WDBS event for Group 7-8 players in Derby.

The event, previously announced as the Derby Open, will now become the WDBS Paul Hunter Disability Classic and will be held on 12-14 May 2017 at the Cueball Derby. As with the previous events held in Woking and Hull last year, the main two-day tournament will be open to players with visual and hearing impairments, with people with any disabilities encouraged to attend our Friday open day beforehand.

The Paul Hunter Foundation was established in 2006 in memory of three-time Masters champion Paul Hunter with the specific aim of giving disadvantaged, able bodied and disabled youngsters an opportunity to play snooker. Over the past decade, the Foundation has raised over £550,000, delivering over 580 live roadshows to over 10,000 children across 160 different communities within the UK. It has also donated over 2,750 cased cues, installed 12 full-size snooker tables into the community and repaired over 100 tables.

A spokesman for the Paul Hunter Foundation said: “We are delighted to support the great work being carried out by the WDBS in providing opportunities for people with disabilities to be able to try snooker and play the sport in a competitive environment. As the Paul Hunter Foundation has worked tirelessly to help children from all backgrounds, including with disabilities to be able to play snooker over the past 10 years, our objectives align perfectly with those of the WDBS and we look forward to what will be a fantastic weekend of snooker in Derby!”

The entry pack for the tournament is now available to download here.

The Paul Hunter Disability Classic will be the second of at least five tournaments to be staged by the WDBS in 2017, following the recent announcement of the full calendar.

The Cueball Derby has 14 full-size snooker tables and has also previously hosted World Ladies Billiards and Snooker events as recently as January 2017.

As with previous events, with the support of the Paul Hunter Foundation, prize money will be available at the tournament, with further details to be released closer to the event.

J&S Trading to Sponsor Manchester Classic

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is delighted to announce that the upcoming Manchester Classic will be supported by J&S Trading, as the headline sponsor for the event.

J&S Trading is a company based in St Helens that specialises in recycling mobile phone parts and accessories. Operating for over 20 years, the business has worked with many international, national and local repair centres offering an outstanding service for its trade clients from small retail shops to multinational businesses repairing devices directly for the mobile networks.  J&S is currently thriving in the buyback broken LCD market within the UK and Europe, recycling over 250,000 pcs per annum.

The event, which will now be known as the WDBS J&S Trading Manchester Classic 2017, will be staged during 10-12 March 2017 at Q’s Sports and Entertainment Bar, Manchester. There will be competitions held for players from Groups 1-6 across the three days, with a Friday open day at which players with all disabilities are encouraged to attend and try snooker.

Simon Berrisford of J&S Trading said: “J&S Trading is proud to be sponsoring the J&S Trading Manchester Classic 2017. We would like to wish all of the players involved in this fantastic event the very best of luck. The future for snooker is on the up and it is great to see players of any ability, gender or disability welcomed by the WDBS and World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.”

The J&S Trading Manchester Classic will be the first of at least five tournaments to be staged by the WDBS in 2017, following the announcement of the full calendar earlier this month.

With the support of J&S Trading, together with already-announced prize fund sponsors LITEtask, the PHMG Foundation and further supporters, prize money will be offered across all competitions. Further details will be released in due course as to how this will be distributed.

Group 6 Event Added to Manchester Classic

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) has announced that the upcoming 2017 Manchester Classic has been expanded to include a Learning Disability Snooker Day for Group 6 players.

In addition to the previously announced two-day competition for players from Groups 1-5, the Learning Disability Snooker Day will run alongside the regular open day on Friday 10 March 2017 at Q’ Sports and Entertainment Bar, Manchester.

Activities will include opportunities for practice and coaching for people of all levels of experience, as well as an optional 6 Red competition. Following external support that the WDBS has received for the event, for the first time both finalists of the Group 6 tournament will receive a prize, with the winner to receive snooker equipment and/or coaching to the value of £100 and the runner-up equipment or coaching worth £50.

Previous WDBS Group 6 events were held in Woking and Gloucester respectively during 2016, with David Barrett and Richard Yendle winning the tournaments respectively.

There is still time for players from all groups to enter the Manchester Classic, which will carry a total prize fund of £1,000 across four competitions. The tournament is supported by prize money sponsors LITEtask and the PHMG Foundation, with further sponsorship opportunities still available.

View more information about the event and download the entry form for the Group 1-5 event.

PHMG Foundation to Support Manchester Classic

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is pleased to announce that next month’s 2017 Manchester Classic will be supported by the PHMG Foundation as prize fund sponsors.

PHMG Worldwide is a provider of audio branding services, with major offices in London, England, Manchester, England and Chicago. In 2013 they established the PHMG Foundation with the objective of assisting any charity whose aims include relieving poverty, distress, sickness and disease.

The event will be staged from 10-12 March 2017 at Q’s Sports and Entertainment Bar, Manchester. The main two-day competition will again be open to players from WDBS classification groups 1-5, with a Friday open day at which players with all disabilities are encouraged to attend and try snooker.

The Manchester Classic will be the first of at least five tournaments to be staged by the WDBS in 2017, following the announcement of the full calendar earlier this month.

As with each of our previous two events, with the support of prize fund sponsors LITEtask and now the PHMG Foundation, we can confirm that prize money will be available in Manchester. A further announcement will be made closer to the event as to how this will be distributed.

We are still accepting entries for the 2017 Manchester Classic, with the entry deadline set to fall on Friday 3 March 2017. Further information is available in the entry pack, however please do not hesitate to contact us via our website or social media should you require further information.

WDBS Announces 2017 Events Calendar

World Disability Billiards and Snooker has today announced its calendar for 2017, which will see at least a record five snooker events held for people with disabilities during the year.

As in 2016, there will be multiple events staged for players with physical and sensory disabilities, including return visits to Hull and Manchester, as well as tournaments at new venues in Derby and Wolverhampton.

For the first time, there will also be an event open to players from all eight WDBS classification groups, to be held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester and played under the increasingly popular six-red format.

Groups 1-5

The first WDBS event of 2017 will be the previously announced Manchester Classic, which following a successful inaugural weekend last spring will return to Q’s Sports and Entertainment Bar on 10-12 March 2017.

This will be followed by the Open Disability Snooker Championship, which for the first time will be held at the Golden Cue Snooker Club in Bilston, Wolverhampton on 22-24 September 2017.

A new venue for the WDBS, the Golden Cue is open 24 hours a day and houses 16 snooker tables in total, including two competition tables.

Groups 7-8

The first event to be held in 2017 for players with sensory disabilities will be the Derby Open on 12-14 May 2017.

The event will be held at the Cueball, a venue that boasts 14 snooker tables and has previously hosted World Ladies Snooker events, as well as English Amateur competitions.

Later in the year, the WDBS will return to the Tradewell Snooker Club for the Hull Open, following a successful inaugural event last November which was recently featured during the BBC’s coverage of the UK Championship.

Again open to groups 7-8 players, the event will be held from 10-12 November 2017 and mark the final WDBS tournament of the year.

Six-Red Championship

For a third year the WDBS returns to the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester, but this year with a difference as the venue will host a Six-Red Championship, open to people with any disability.

Further information including entry packs for all events will be announced in due course.

WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer said: “The WDBS is going from strength to strength and we are expanding our events year-on-year. I want to thank the WPBSA for supporting us and enabling us to put on our events.

“We have built up a large player base from the UK and we have players from as far afield as India who play in our events. We are in negotiations to run events in Belgium and Ireland, as we need to grow our events into Europe and beyond to achieve our goal of returning to the Paralympics.

“We have attracted some sponsorship for our events in the UK and in order to maintain our growth we would welcome sponsorship support from small and large companies who can become partners in helping the WDBS provide these rewarding opportunities for people with disabilities.”


To learn more about World Disability Billiards and Snooker visit:

If you would like to join the WDBS Team as an event sponsor please contact us via our contact form for more information.

WPBSA Launches ‘Six Red Nose Day’ Challenge

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) has today launched the Six Red Nose Day Challenge, a fresh and exciting way for people of any level of snooker experience to support Comic Relief, just by playing snooker at your local club!

Originally founded in 1985 by Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry in response to the famine in Ethiopia, through its biennial Red Nose Day event the charity has raised over £1 billion globally over the last 30 years and helped to raise awareness to help the kids who need support most at home and around the world.

Snooker has previously been involved in supporting the charity, in 2010 former world champion Dennis Taylor and Willie Thorne memorably performing a rendition of ‘Walk This Way’ during that year’s night of festivities.

But for the first time anyone can now get involved and help to raise money for this year’s Red Nose Day campaign ahead of the main event on 24th March 2017, by taking on the ‘Six-Red Nose Day Challenge in your local club.

The Challenge

It could not be simpler to get involved at your local participating snooker club, following a few simple rules:

For each counting attempt a donation to the Comic Relief charity of £1.00 must be made

Set the table with just six reds and no colours, with the cue ball positioned within the ‘D’

With a timer starting from the break-off, the player must pot all of the six reds as quickly as possible, with the timer to be stopped once the sixth red is potted

Your time will then be added to the official list at your club and following the end of the competition the fastest player will win a prize to be determined by the club, with the remaining money to be donated directly to this year’s Comic Relief appeal. The winner from each club will also be entered into a prize draw to win to tickets to a major World Snooker event.

All participants are encouraged to get engaged via social media and share images and photos from your attempts with us using the hashtags #6reds #rednoseday

Chris Hornby, WPBSA Sport Development Manager said: “It’s great for the WPBSA and its supporting partner organisations to be able to support such a great cause as Red Nose Day. It’s important for local communities to be able to get together to raise money which will support vital Comic Relief projects, whilst at the same time giving snooker clubs an opportunity to encourage new people to their venues and showcase what snooker as a sport has to offer the community.”

To learn more about Comic Relief visit:

Paul Smith shakes hand of Allan Morley of Think Telecom

Companies Back WDBS

For the first time, recent World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) events held in Gloucester and Kingston upon Hull have both carried prize money for competitors reaching the final stages.

This has been possible thanks to the support of a variety of national businesses, who have become involved with WDBS events as prize money sponsors.

Open Disability Snooker Championship 2016

The first company to announce their support of the WDBS was Renishaw plc, a global company with core skills in measurement, motion control, healthcare, spectroscopy and manufacturing.

With their support, we were able to offer prize money to all six finalists across the three main competitions staged at this year’s Open Disability Snooker Championship in Gloucester.

We were also able to provide an overall high break prize for the event, as kindly donated by the Paul Hunter Foundation which was won by regular player Daniel Blunn.

Hull Open 2016

Our most recent tournament, the Hull Open, saw the overall prize fund double from Gloucester with the backing of two national companies.

Thanks to the support of legal services provider Hudgell Solicitors and telecoms provider Think Telecom, we were able to offer prize money not only to the finalists of our Group 7-8 events, but also the semi-finalists of our Group 8 event for deaf players.

We were also able to provide individual high break prizes for each of the two groups, which in the case of Group 8 was made possible thanks to a donation from the Hull Deaf Centre Sports Committee.

Brand exposure

Through our own website and social media channels, as well as external media outlets, all of our prize money sponsors have featured extensively as part of our event coverage.think_logo

All prize money sponsors have been offered the opportunity to join our presentation party at events and to learn more about the benefits of becoming part of the wider WPBSA network.

Get involved!

If you or your business is interested in becoming involved and supporting future WDBS events, we would love to hear from you via our contact form.

Our next event will be the 2017 Manchester Classic from 10-12 March 2017 with LITEtask, the UK’s largest Independent Commercial Lighting Designers and Distributors, already having pledged their support.

Selby Mencap Welcomed at Hull Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker welcomed members from the Selby Gateway Leisure Mencap Society to its latest open day at this month’s Hull Open.

Led by Martin Waterhouse, who is a trustee and volunteer support worker of Selby District Mencap, the attendees were given the opportunity to practice snooker and receive coaching from WPBSA World Snooker coaches including Bob Hill, Tim Squires and Mark Parsons.

Picture of Martin Waterhouse playing snooker

Martin Waterhouse

“We did not know what to expect but it’s great to see disabled people being supported in the way that they have been in a setting like this,” said Martin. “I wish that there were more events similar so that people can get more involved in it.”

In particular, Martin was impressed by the coaching provided by Mark Parsons, who recently completed the WPBSA World Snooker Level 1 Community Coaching course and competes in WDBS events as a Group 2 wheelchair player.

“The actual coaching is fantastic,” said Martin. “The trainers and coaches are there to provide support and they are really on the ball.

“The one guy that stood out for me was Mark Parsons from Bristol. As a wheelchair user, the coaching that he provided was as good as any of the other coaches and I think that is a big positive message there.”

Photo of Selby players with Bob Hill

Team photo with WDBS coach Bob Hill

Waterhouse echoed the thoughts of WDBS director Bob Hill, who earlier this year told that he felt that snooker is an ideal sport for people with learning disabilities.

“Snooker as a sport is great for these guys because they don’t have to think a lot other than just potting balls,” added Martin. “It doesn’t really matter if they are any good at it – just potting one ball is a success. It’s a knock on effect of the better you get, the better it is. But I know from our experiences in Selby that just potting one ball in ten shots is fantastic for them so bring on the next event!”

Each of the players who attended from the group was presented with a WDBS polo shirt and visited York earlier this week for the start of the 2016 Betway UK Championship from the Barbican Centre.

Learn more about Mencap and support their work via social media using the hashtag #HereIAm