Fred, Kirk and Jimmy



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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 ago 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 ever seen.

For those of you who do not remember Kirk Stevens, he was an exciting Canadian player who burst onto the scene in the late 1970’s. At the time looked as though he might rival the likes of Jimmy White and Alex Higgins as a potential so-called people’s 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 1980’s 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 opponent’s 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.

David Smith
Cues n Views

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