Tag: Tony Southern

Northern Classic 2019: Tournament Preview

The opening World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) event of the new year takes place this weekend at the renowned Hazel Grove Snooker Club in Stockport, which will be hosting WDBS competition for the first time.

Consisting of five separate tournaments, the 2019 Northern Classic features players with a range of physical and learning disabilities who will contest their respective classification groups and will be sponsored by BB Scaffolding.

DSActive Day

Ahead of the competitive action the weekend will begin with a special open day which will be supported by the Down syndrome initiative DSActive.

People with all disabilities, including Down syndrome are welcomed to the club to try snooker regardless of experience and receive coaching from our team of WPBSA World Snooker coaches at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone.

Groups 1-2

The wheelchair category continues to be one of the most exciting and competitive sections on the WDBS scene, although Daniel Lee is currently the player to beat.

Lee enjoyed a terrific 2018 campaign that saw him secure a trio of titles; the multi-classification Welsh Open, the Champion of Champions and he heads to Stockport as the defending Northern Classic champion.

He faces a difficult task holding onto his crown, though. Reigning Open Disability champion Aslam Abubaker broke his WDBS duck in Northampton last September and now he has a taste for more success.

There will also be no lack of motivation for fellow entrants Tony Southern, Glyn Lloyd and Shahab Siddiqui – all previous finalists on the circuit who are hoping to go all the way this time around.

Group 3

Following feedback received from players Group 3 will consist solely of ambulant players with one or more upper limbs either absent or severely impaired.

This means that a number of previous Group 3 winners with either full use, or moderately impaired upper limbs will be re-classified either as Group 4 or Group 5 players.

Of those who are set to contest the Group 3 tournament however is Nigel Coton, a former winner back in 2016 at the Open Disability Snooker Championship.

He will be joined by the likes of John Teasdale, Joe Hardstaff and Kal Mattu, all experienced competitors on the WDBS circuit.

Groups 4-5*

Several familiar names appear in the line-up for the Group 4/5 tournament that boasts a healthy number of entries, boosted further by those previously classified as Group 3 competitors.

Headline players include reigning champion Mickey Chambers and recent Champion of Champions winner David Church, who will resume their ongoing struggle for supremacy in the division – they have shared the last four titles between themselves.

Within the field of cueists who are seeking to break up this recent dominance are former Manchester Classic champions Andy Johnson and David Weller. They will also be joined by multiple WDBS champions Daniel Blunn and William Thomson, who met in the Group 3 final of this event a year ago.

In form David Moore will also be another player to watch. Moore benefited from being a late replacement for Gloucester a few months ago where he topped the round robin before losing to Church in the final.

A quarter-finalist on debut at Barratts in the Autumn, Marcin Kubalski will once again make the trip across from Poland to pit his wits on the WDBS tour.

Female players Danielle Findlay and Maureen Rowland also form part of a diverse jigsaw.

*Note that subject to entries, there may be individual competitions for Groups 4 and 5.

Groups 6A / 6B

For only the second time players with intellectual disabilities will have the opportunity to compete in Group 6 events across the full weekend.

Twelve months ago, in Preston, it was third time lucky for Leroy Williams in a WDBS final as he recorded his first triumph on the circuit. The defending champion is back aiming to retain his title in the 6B autistic section but faces stiff opposition from several quarters.

This includes fellow Liverpool based star Daniel Harwood, who is looking to continue his impressive streak on tour. Already a record equaling six-time WDBS winner, Harwood claimed the prestigious Champion of Champions and Hull Open titles towards the back end of 2018.

Reigning Humber Classic champion Peter Geronimo will also be making the trip up from London.

In the Group 6A learning disabilities discipline, Mike Busst will try to build on his maiden victory in Hull last November.  Among others, he will be joined by Hull finalist Faisal Butt and Alexandra Mendham, who was a semi-finalist in this event last year.

The Northern Classic runs from 8-10 February 2019 at the Hazel Grove Snooker Centre in Stockport and you can follow updates online here and at our social media pages.

Preview by Matt Huart and Michael Day.

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 (tonysouthern@msn.com) or by mobile on 07736551771.

 

Parris Cues Champion of Champions 2018: Tournament Information

The full match schedule for the Parris Cues Champion of Champions 2018 is now available.

As always, the latest results and group standings will be published throughout the weekend at MySnookerStats via the following links:

As previously announced, the winners of each group competition will also be invited to play at the 2019 WSF Championships in Dubai.

Read more about the event here.

Field Confirmed for Parris Cues Champion of Champions

Later this month World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) will host the Parris Cues Champion of Champions for the first time and we can today reveal the 24 players who will be competing in the event.

To be held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester on the weekend of 20-21 October 2018, the event will comprise six tournaments with the most successful four players from each of the regular WDBS classification groups between November 2015 – May 2018 invited to participate.

Each of the tournaments will begin with a round-robin group stage, with the top two players at the end of the group to contest a title match to decide the Champion of Champions for each classification.

The players who will be competing are:

Groups 1-2

Graham Bonnell, Craig Welsh, Daniel Lee, Tony Southern

Group 3

Daniel Blunn, Nigel Coton, William Thomson, Andrew Harper

Groups 4-5

Raja Subramanian, Andy Johnson, David Church, David Weller

Group 6

Daniel Harwood, Leroy Williams, Rich Yendle, Andrew Galley

Group 7

Paul Smith, Nick Neale, Mike Gillespie, David Baker

Group 8

Shabir Ahmed, Blake Munton, Lewis Knowles, Richard Gott

As previously announced, each of the six winners will receive an invitation to compete at next year’s WSF Championships in Dubai, with the costs of their travel and hotel to be sponsored by 360Fizz.

The winners will also receive the first prize and be presented with the Nick Oliver Trophy by John Parris, of the event sponsor Parris Cues. Each group winner will also receive their own trophy to take home and keep.

The Parris Cues Champion of Champions will become an annual event on the calendar, with the top performing players from each group over a two-year period qualifying for the event.

Spectators are encouraged to attend and support the players competing in the event.

WDBS Success at Northern Classic

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) held the J&S Trading Northern Classic, its first event of 2018 in Preston, England last weekend.

Open to players from six disability groups covering a range of physical and learning disabilities, the event ran for three days at the Elite Snooker Club, owned and run by former professional players Chris Norbury and Shokat Ali.

Daniel Lee made it back-to-back titles in the Group 2 wheelchair competition with a 3-1 victory against Tony Southern in Sunday’s final. Lee, who was born with spina bifida, previously won the Open Disability Snooker Championship in Wolverhampton and avenged defeat against Southern in the round robin stages to take the gold medal home to Buckinghamshire.

In Group 3 there was also a second title for Scotland’s William Thomson, who edged out four-time winner Daniel Blunn 3-2 following a dramatic final. Thomson, who previously won the 2016 Manchester Classic, was in fine form all weekend and sealed the title with a break of 41 (his seventh over 40 during the weekend), in the deciding frame.

Coached by former world champion Graeme Dott, Thomson has also been nominated by his national federation to compete in the EBSA European Championships this week in Bulgaria and will be looking to carry his form over into that event.

There was another new winner in the Group 4-5 tournament as local debutant Michael ‘Mickey’ Chambers defeated another former WDBS champion Andy Johnson 3-0 to claim the title. Chambers, whose left foot was amputated when he was younger following treatment for meningitis, dropped just one frame throughout the competition and impressed with a break of 51 during his semi-final victory against Gareth Ward.

Friday’s Group 6 competition saw Leroy Jay Williams claim his first WDBS title with a 2-0 win against Ryan Riding. Williams, who was previously runner-up at events in Wolverhampton and Hull, ensured that it would be third time lucky by coming through the field to take victory.

Finally, the Challenge Cup event, for players who did not qualify for Sunday’s knockout rounds, was won by WDBS stalwart Kal Mattu, who edged out Craig Welsh in a best of three frames final.

Simon Berrisford, WDBS director and owner of event title sponsor J&S Trading said: “As always it has been fantastic to be see a mix of new and returning people coming together to provide an action-packed weekend of snooker in Preston. It is particularly exciting to see how competitive these events are becoming as the standard of play continues to rise, but without losing any of their magic and the special atmosphere that WDBS tournaments have.

“On behalf of WDBS I would also like to extend my thanks to Chris, Shokat and the rest of the team at the Elite Snooker Centre, who could not have been more accommodating to us all weekend. With further plans in place to improve what is already a fine example of a modern, safe snooker club, we are already looking forward to returning in the future.”

WDBS will next head to Northampton for the first Groups 6-8 event of 2018, the Parris Cues UK Open to be held at Barratts Snooker Club from 16-18 February. Open to players with learning, hearing and visual disabilities, entries remain open with more information available at www.wdbs.info.

View draws and results at MySnookerStats.

Tony Southern playing snooker shot using rest

Tony Southern Q&A

A name who will be familiar to most with an interest in disability cue sports, Tony Southern will be among those in action at next month’s J&S Trading Northern Classic, to be held at Preston’s Elite Snooker Club for the first time.

We caught up with Tony recently to preview the tournament and look back at his time in the sport…

Hi Tony, we begin 2018 with the J&S Trading Northern Classic in Preston. How much are looking forward to the competition?

Yes, I am really looking forward to the first event of the year. I played a few pro-ams at the Elite Snooker Club back in the early 1990’s when I was at university in Preston, so it will be good to see how the club has changed.

Tony Southern shakes hands with Craig Welsh

Tony reached the final of the 2017 Manchester Classic, narrowly losing out to Craig Welsh

You entered your first WDBS competitions in 2017, notably coming so close to winning in Manchester, losing on a re-spotted black. Can you go one better this year?

Hopefully! After a break from snooker due to injury and other priorities it was good to be back, and Craig Welsh played really well in the event and to beat me in the final.

Of course you are no stranger to snooker having competed in events for nearly 35 years – how do you reflect on your time in the sport?

I’ve achieved a lot since my first national win in 1985 at age 16! I’ve won 24 national disabled championships under the old BSAD/DSE framework (four of which were classed as World Opens when World Snooker was previously involved in the 1990’s), I still hold the highest event break of 87 and had a decent amateur career against able bodied players. But all of that was as a standing player and since I’ve comeback I’m playing from a chair, as that what I’ve done in my other cue sports to good effect.

Tony Southern plays snooker shot against Glyn Lloyd watched by Vic Hartley

Tony plays a shot as opponent Glyn Lloyd and referee Vic Hartley look on

What has competing in snooker events done for your life in general, what positive effects has this had physically and mentally? 

I have made lots of new friends, and it is always nice to see some old faces, and in some cases very old (Glyn Lloyd and referee Vic Hartley) still involved! I have got to know a lot of the top pros as well and travelled the length and breadth of the country. It will be good to play my first international snooker event in Belgium, after playing American pool around the world the last 10 years.

Tell us about your disability, how does this affect your snooker? Has this changed over your career and what challenges has this given you?

I have cerebral palsy which affects my legs, as mentioned above most of my snooker career was spent playing standing up, but as you get older, muscles get weaker and I started using a chair for my other cue sports in 2006. It made sense to do this for snooker too, as I was getting too fatigued walking around table.

Tony Southern places cue ball

Tony in WDBS action at the 2017 Open Disability Snooker Championship in Wolverhampton

You had spoken of retirement in 2017, but posted recently that your health has improved and you are looking forward to continuing to play for the foreseeable future. What are your goals for 2018 and beyond?

I was diagnosed with two prolapsed discs in my back in 2016, which meant I was having real issues with bending to play any shots, even from a chair. It cost me matches and several titles in my other cue sports, so was getting really down about my future prospects, as I always want to be competitive.

However, a series of treatments on my back in 2017 and a recent knee operation have really helped, and I’m now the president of the British Pool Federation, looking after the interests of the American Pool players in the UK, both at a professional and amateur level. So if I have to be at events in an administrative role, why not play as well!

Tony Southern and Andy Johnson point at balls arranged to look like Belgian flag

Tony will be competing at the inaugural Belgian Open in March (pictured with Andy Johnson)

How important is the social aspect of WDBS events, both catching up with old friends and meeting new people?

It is really important, I’m one of the few left from the mid 1980’s still competing and it’s nice to see the older players and referees still going. It is also good to see younger players grow and improve, I recall seeing Daniel Blunn as a young teenager many years ago and telling his father that he was very good and would win lots of titles, which of course he has done!

What message would you have for anyone out there considering entering a WDBS event for the first time?

Basically, come and give it a go, no matter what your standard of play. It is almost guaranteed that your level will improve just being around the WDBS scene and utilising the coaching days, and competing against players on a level playing field in terms of disability. Three days of fun, coaching and events is a great experience for all involved.

There is still time to join Tony and enter the J&S Trading Northern Classic from 2-4 February 2018. Click HERE to learn more and download the full entry form.

Wolverhampton winners

Wolverhampton On Cue For WDBS

The 2017 Open Disability Snooker Championship was successfully hosted last weekend in Wolverhampton by World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS).

Held at the Golden Cue Snooker Club, the event saw players with a range of physical and learning disabilities battle it out to become champions in their respective categories throughout the three-day competition.

There was a new winner in the Group 1-2 wheelchair competition as Daniel Lee defeated WDBS newcomer Aslam Abubaker 3-1 in the event final. Having come through the group stage with four wins for the loss of just a single frame, Lee then whitewashed Danny Luton 3-0 in their semi-final before coming out on top against Abubaker.

Daniel and Andrew Blunn with medal

In Group 3 Daniel Blunn defeated Clive Brunton in the final to regain the title that he first won back in 2015. Victory completed a dominant display from Sutton Coldfield’s Blunn who won all 14 of his frames during the weekend to extend his unbeaten run on the WDBS circuit which dates back to last year’s event in Gloucester.

Taking his first WDBS victory in the Group 4-5 competition was Norwich’s David Church who defeated Adam Leighton 3-0 in the title match. Previously runner-up at this year’s Manchester Classic, Church came through a nail-biting semi-final with debutant Gareth Ward in a deciding frame, before recording a comfortable win against Leighton to secure the gold medal.

There was also a new winner in Friday’s Group 6 competition for players with learning disabilities as Daniel Harwood defeated Leroy Jay Williams in a high-quality final. Finally, the Challenge Cup tournament for players not making it through to the knockout stages during the weekend was won by Andy Johnson, who defeated John Teasdale 2-0 in the final match of the event.

David Church with Olivia and medal

The event was well-supported by sponsors The Snowdrop Cakery, WPBSA World Snooker coach Andrew Highfield and J&S Trading, whose backing ensured that prize money was available to the players across all six groups.

Tony Hough-Allen, representing The Snowdrop Cakery said: “I would like to say a big thank you to the Golden Cue Snooker Club for looking after ourselves and WDBS. The event has been an absolute success and it has been a pleasure to sponsor it. Everybody enjoyed the Six Red Group 6 event held on Friday and there was some excellent talent on show during the main event during the weekend. Congratulations to all of the winners and we look forward to hopefully seeing you again soon!”

The final WDBS event of 2017 will be the 888lcd.co.uk Hull Open across the weekend of 10-12 November at the Tradewell Snooker Centre in Hull for players with learning, visual and hearing disabilities.