HistoricaLeigh: Leigh - A Sportsmans Haven
It is well known that some of our greatest sports personalities over the years have come to Leigh to train or play.
Bombardier Billy Wells, the great boxer of the earlier 20th century trained at the Grand and the Elms. But turning to a less strenuous sport, billiards, (and snooker), The Grand played host also in those years to Tom Newman, who was at the time regarded as the coming billiards champion of England.
Tom also played a match at The Ship which according to the local paper aroused much interest.
Newman was 19 at the time and his opponent was Charles Roberts who later became a billiards tutor in the local area: I don’t for one minute profess to understand the scoring in billiards but Newman won 750 :654.
Tom Newman (1894 – 1943) was born Thomas Pratt but always appeared under the name 'Newman' when playing. He established himself as the best billiards player of the 1920s, appearing in every World Professional Billiards Championship final between 1921 and 1930, and winning the title six times. In the last five of these finals he met Joe Davis. He regarded snooker as the less "serious" of the two sports, but nevertheless in 1934 he was one of two entries for the World Championship, the other being defending champion Joe Davis. Davis won .This article is by Carole Mulroney of Leigh Lives - www.leighlives.co.uk
To read all of Carole's previous article of the History of our little town, click here