It’s been more than 40 years since Jimmy White burst on to the sporting scene with his scintillating brand of entertaining high-speed snooker.
But “The Whirlwind” can still blow away his opponents – just ask Tony Edwards and a few of his counterparts in the Farnham & District Billiards and Snooker League.
Some of the league’s best players gathered in Lindford WMC on November 3 for a frame with a legend of the game in reward for their exploits over their 2021/22 season.
And some of the winners and break-builders even got the better of the six-time World Championship finalist in front of a packed crowd at the East Hampshire venue.
Star of the night was arguably Presidents Cup winner Shakeel Ahmad Shahneel as the Sovereign A player made a super-cool 22 clearance to win 60-57.
And White was given a real lesson by Ryan Mears, as the singles winner and centurion made a 41 break en route to a 78-1 mauling.
Jimmy wasn’t quite as chatty as the likes of Steve Davis, John Parrott and Dennis Taylor, who have all graced the Lindford WMC presentation night table in recent years.
But he was every bit the cheeky Cockney during the evening, making gentle quips about the speed of the referees and the quality of the Lindford table, especially when the extended cue bracket fell over.
He was also not afraid to joke about his past, saying “I asked for vodka” after noticing the water bucket on the players’ table.
First up to the table was Mark Blissett with the singles finalist going down 25-86 to White before Shahneel’s late-frame heroics.
Carl Saunders, whose 39 for Alton Cons F was the highest break in Division Three last season, followed but was sadly restricted to long shots and difficult efforts and went down 116-1.
Tony Edwards, who made a 100 break in the doubles competition, started solidly only for White to make a 108 century against the Sovereign B player in one of the evening’s highlights.
Draw winner Tom Hibberd got a useful 13 break in a 67-15 defeat while Division Two top scorer Paul Ferguson managed nine as knocks of 56 and 57 saw off the Liss RBL C player.
White decided to hold an auction for a final frame instead of a question-and-answer session, with Dave Wild making the £110 winning bid.
There was no fairytale finish, but the bidder did manage to get double figures with Jimmy getting breaks of 53 and 51 in a 108-11 victory.