Snooker World Champion puts on a show for Ashington fans

A former World Snooker champion was spot on as he passed on tips to local players.

By David Sedgwick
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 8:00 am
Cliff Thornburn with Ashington Veterans and Elders Institute committee members.
Cliff Thornburn with Ashington Veterans and Elders Institute committee members.

Cliff Thornburn, who won the World Championship in 1980, was guest of honour during a visit to Ashington Veterans and Elders Institute.

He played an exhibition match against six local players, showed some great trick shots and posed for photographs.

The Canadian also had his pie and peas with members and signed dozens of autographs.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Cliff Thornburn with secretary Keith Green (left) and Paul Rinaldi who helped to arrange the day (right).

Keith Green, secretary of the Institute, said: “He's been playing professional snooker for over 50 years, won dozens of titles all over the world and is a snooker history-maker.

“He won the World Title at The Crucible in 1980, the first overseas player to do that.

"In 1983 he was the first player to reach a second Crucible World Final, making the first maximum 147 at Sheffield on the way to the final.

“He is a real gentleman, a true ambassador for the game, and he puts paid to the belief that you shouldn't meet your heroes in case they disappoint you.

Cliff Thorburn playing a trick shot with the help of local league player, Ryan Walker.

"He was great company and the consummate nice guy.

“Cliff retired from professional snooker last week, playing his last competitive match in Hull at The UK Seniors Tournament, but he'll continue to travel the world and play exhibition matches.

“We'd been disappointed to have had to cancel his original scheduled visit to the institute in early 2020 because of Covid restrictions.

“We hope to continue with these events, as the members really enjoy seeing the pros in action close-up, as well as having the chance to chat with legends of the game.”