SnookerEd25 wrote:True about Rex, but there was a whole ‘lost generation’ who couldn’t (not ‘didn’t’ so much) fulfill their potential because there was just no money in the game; Rex is amongst them, though still did remarkably in the twilight of his career to feature in the top 16 & a ranking final in the 80s. Cliff Wilson was another, Patsy Houlihan, Kingsley Kennerley, Marcus & Gary Owen and many others who were born just a bit too early to make a decent fist of the ‘boom years’, but too late to have provided real competition in the Joe Davis era.
Very true of course.
The sad thing is, certainly in Cliff Wilson's case, he is remembered as an older player who potted balls for fun, didn't win all that often, liked a laugh and a joke and enjoyed a pint and a fag. Had there been the opportunity available to him in the 1950's, he may well have been remembered today as the original Hurricane, Whirlwind or Rocket, and, maybe also as a former World Champion?
It is often said that professional snooker died in the 50's because
of the advent of television. People were staying at home watching the box instead of going out to watch snooker. The same reason why so many cinema's and music halls closed. I do often wonder if it was more to do with the fact that professional snooker became a 'closed shop' and the public simply got bored of watching Joe, Fred and Donaldson contesting matches over 73 or 145 frames? Burroughes Hall in Soho Square was always packed to the rafters whenever Wilson or Houlihan played there - people had to be turned away at the door. In 1965, some 1,600 people saw Houlihan beat Spencer to win the English Amateur Championship at Blackpool Tower Circus. So, the demand WAS
there - if only Joe had had the foresight to use those exciting young talents - it could have breathed new life in to the game.