Sunday, 17 April 2016

The end of an era

We got our first colour TV in 1973, for the Royal Wedding. In 1975 I watched my first FA Cup final, and became a West Ham fan, following in the tradition of my mother and my grandparents, who lived just up the road from the Boleyn Ground (people have now suddenly started to call it by its official name for the first time I can remember) at Upton Park. And the era of Upton Park is of course coming to an end, as West Ham move to the Olympic Stadium. But that's not the era I was thinking of when I started to write this.

It was a few years later - I would have been in my early teens - when the Black and White Rag heralded a half hour which would have my father glued to the screen, and I quickly joined him in becoming an addict of Pot Black, as he explained the rules of snooker and I immediately realised that at last I had found a sport that could really interest me. It must have been on Pot Black that I was first introduced to Steve Davis, who joined the ranks of professional players in 1978, the year he turned 21. Nowadays, when any player over 40 is considered to be a walking miracle, it's hard to recall what a breath of fresh air it was to see a player who was not only young, but fresh, and personable. I became a fan straight away, and as with West Ham, have remained loyal, with varying degrees of passion, ever since.

Photo stolen from someone on the internet who stole it from the BBC

This afternoon, as I sat on my new sofa watching the World Championship, Steve Davis announced his retirement after thirty eight years as a professional snooker player. So now - other than on the television - I shall never see him play competitive snooker.

I left this all a bit too late...
But better late than never... Next year could be the tournament's last in Sheffield.

1 comment:

  1. Hope you enjoyed the snooker, they have been saying for years that it will be the last year the competition will be in Sheffield. But Sheffield will fight tooth and nail to keep it. It also seems that a lot of the players see Sheffield as the home of snooker and don't want it to move. Besides now we are the world's real ale capital ( according to pete brown ) the 2 go hand in hand!

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