Looking at the history books sometimes
reinforces a certain perspective concerning events that usually do not attract
much attention at the time that they happen.
Mike Russell, along with a small group of
devotees has kept the game of competitive Billiards going over the past few
years. Along with holding down a day job, he has also managed to maintain his
skills and travel the world in search of competition.
What a book Mike could write, about his practise
sessions with Mark Wildman and the late Jack karnehm, what it felt like to be
the youngest ever winner of a world ranking Billiards title at 18 years of age
and also following that up by becoming the youngest ever world Billiards
champion at 20. Incidentally Mike took over the youngest ever world champion
record from William Cook set way back in 1870 when he was 21.
Mike has played and beaten a list of players
that reads like a whos who of Billiards from the last few years. Players
like Ray Edmonds, world Billiards champion in 1985, Mike also played against
Norman Dagley twice winner of the world title and Hugh Nimmo of Scotland.
Mike Russell has played against many outstanding
players from overseas, such as Eddie Charlton and Robby Foldvari of Australia,
the home of the great Lindrum family and Geet Sethi and Michael Fareira from
I feel that it is past time that a book
preserving the skills of the top class Billiard player, perhaps accompanied by
an explanatory video was put together. I remember a quote from Jack karnehm
that went something like this, Mike Russell would hold his own with the
greats of the 1920s and 1930s such as Tom Newman, Willie Smith and
perhaps even Joe Davis himself I am ill equipped to argue with the late
Mr karnehm, but feel that if this is indeed the case, more should be done to
preserve for future generations the skills and abilities, even in record form
of this great Billiards champion.
Mike would probably be embarrassed at being
described as a national treasure, but in my opinion he should receive an MBE
and be accorded any other top accolade for his steadfast perseverance in
keeping the subtle and at times delicate skills of top class Billiards alive.
How many world titles had Steve Davis won before he was awarded the MBE? Now
for services to Snooker he has seen his award upgraded to an OBE, I fully
support Steve and his award but feel that recognition is well overdue for the
forgotten father of modern Snooker and the players who keep it alive.
If you would be interested in obtaining a book
and video of Mike Russell showing how the game of billiards should be played
them e-mail me your details, who knows if enough people show an interest, this
project may come to fruition.