Books on both Billiards and Snooker have been
around for many years and due to their relatively limited print runs can become
scarce quite quickly.
The books of Fred Davis for example, although
these two works were only published about 22 years go they are becoming quite
scarce, Fred writes in an informative and conversational style, I imagine that
he worked with a professional writer but his personality and personal charm
shine through very well.
Fred Davis Talking Snooker is both a technical
book on how to play the game and a series of reflective stories on his early
playing career and the characters and situations that he encountered.
Fred Davis was still playing top class Snooker
well into his sixties and in fact beat Kirk Stevens in the World Championship
when he himself was 64 years old. This ranks in my mind, as one of the most
impressive displays of experience and craft over talented youth that I have
For those of you who do not remember Kirk
Stevens, he was an exciting Canadian player who burst onto the scene in the
late 1970s. At the time looked as though he might rival the likes of
Jimmy White and Alex Higgins as a potential so-called peoples champion,
due to a combination of flamboyant dress sense, youthful good looks and most
importantly a swashbuckling and exciting style on the Snooker Table.
Sadly Kirk could not fully flourish and
demonstrate his best skills in the atmosphere that was generated by Snooker in
the early 1980s and became distracted by the pop star trappings that
surrounded the game at this time.
Kirk will always be remembered however for
creating a piece of history at the Masters in 1984, playing Jimmy White in the
semi-final he produced a tremendous break of 147.
This match of all the ones that he played
throughout his time in the limelight seemed to epitomise his style, skill and
sportsmanlike demeanour. In the last frame of this match, when the match was
won, Jimmy played one of his trademark power shots with a prodigious amount of
side spin. Kirk sat in his chair, knowing that he had lost and yet still he
applauded his opponents skill and congratulated Jimmy with what appeared
to be genuine warmth and enthusiasm.
Jimmy took the first prize that year but the
real winners were the Snooker spectators and Snooker as a whole. If you asked
me to pick a match that showed the best that Snooker has to offer, to show
someone who had never seen or heard of the game then this would be the tape
that I would show them.Ironically, neither of these two great players has won
the World Championship and yet they have both produced some of the most
memorable Snooker yet seen.