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Tony Powell – Snooker Legend

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The snooker community mourned the loss of one of the true greats of the game recently, with the sad passing of Tony Powell, writes Andy Bolter.

The word “Legend” is often banded around too easily in sport, but never was the title more deserving than when referring to local snooker player Tony Powell.

Tony started to play the game he loved so much as a 14-year-old boy and continue to play competitively in the local Newbury league until the ripe old age of 87 years. He was one of the most recognisable figures in the game and was very well known not only in the local area, but all around the country.

Tony Powell (centre) with former world snooker champion Dennis Taylor
Tony Powell (centre) with former world snooker champion Dennis Taylor

In the late 70s and early 80s Tony often took trips to London and the surrounding areas to play some of the top professionals for money. He was quoted as saying that he would play anyone back in the day except for Steve Davis! He took on some of the top professional players in the game and beat them for money on numerous occasions.

He was a regular entrant in the Pontins Pro-Am tournaments in Prestatyn each year and played his league Snooker in the Slough snooker league, becoming a highly decorated player, winning league titles, singles titles and even the Harrow league Champion of Champions tournament.

When Newbury Snooker Club opened in 1985 Tony Powell was the dominant force. He won seven Newbury League singles titles, including six titles in consecutive years as well and multiple club championships, cementing his place as the player to beat in the local area.

He also won 10 League Division titles playing in the Newbury A side and 9 Newbury League Doubles titles, playing with his long-term partner Phil Simmons and with his children Angela Powell and Tony Powell Junior.

In 2004, local player Andy Bolter put together a team to enter the Reading & District Snooker League. Tony got the call and was a key member of the team, representing Thatcham A and later Crucible A for 15 years.

He went on to win five more League titles along with 4 Eacott Cups. Andy went on to launch the Crucible Sports & Social Club in 2011 and Tony Powell became the first Honorary Lifetime member, given his achievements and dedication to the sport.

With the help of Tony and his room at home filled with all of his trophies, the history of the Newbury Snooker league was documented and a display wall was created at the Crucible Newbury. This stands as a testament to all his achievements.

In 2013 the Newbury Snooker League honoured Tony further when he was awarded the Hall of Fame Lifetime achievement award.

Never was there a more deserving player.

Tony Powell continued to enjoy the game of snooker well into his 80s and played for local team Southern Comforts in the Newbury Snooker League, along with his practice partner Sean O’Shea.

Tony and Sean played regularly and competed in doubles tournaments together.

Even with time catching up with his form, Tony never lost the love for the game.

A fantastic player and friend to many, Tony will always be remembered fondly.

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