Grantham Billiard Club’s popular Over-50s Handicap Snooker League has this season produced two winners with surprisingly different backgrounds to the sport.
The league itself was won by Steve Seymour (pictured, right), whilst the Knockout competition saw pensioner Barry Stringer emerge victorious.
The league was a tight affair this time around, going down to the last match of the season, but 56-year-old Steve – whose highest career break is an agonising 99 – triumphed to lift the prestigious trophy.
Originally from Portsmouth, Steve first rested his hand on the green baize whenhe took up pool.
Steve said: “I started pool when I left school. I was number two in Hampshire and played for the A Team for four years.”
He switched to snooker and found employment as an assistant manager at a club in Portsmouth.
Steve abandoned the game when he married in the late 1980s, but restarted three years ago when his son showed an interest in the sport. And the pair of them won the Grantham Doubles competition in their first season together.
Whilst working at his club in Portsmouth, Steve got to meet and play some legendary professional players, such as Ray Reardon and Rex Williams.
However, he had nothing good to say about multi-world champion Steve Davis whom he also met and found quite rude, much preferring the legendary ‘people’s champion’ – the late Alex Higgins – his favourite player of all time.
Steve’s unusual eyewear choice is a legacy of another world champion – Dennis Taylor – from whom he copied the idea of turning upside down a pair of spectacles – his old reading glasses in this case – to aid vision whilst playing.
Originally from Nottingham, former miner Barry is a latecomer to the sport, only first aiming a cue in anger a little over 10 years ago.
But the 80-year-old ex-Fenland Foods worker is no stranger to victory, having previously won the league twice, the handicap doubles, and the Division One Sunday League.
And he was proud to boast that, despite his advancing years, he still does not need to wear glasses – not even for reading, never mind snooker.
Nonchalant regarding his highest break (“50-odd?”, he ventured), Barry said he only plays once a week, twice when in competition.
And his favourite professional player? Nottingham-born and bred Anthony Hamilton, of course.