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Perrie Mans

Postby Muller

I was a bit of a fan of Perrie back in the day. The first snooker I watched really was Pot Black 1978 when he was the reigning champion, although I think he did not compete that year. Then he got to the WC final in 1978 and put up a good show in losing to Reardon.

I still did not know a huge amount about the game then, that would grow in the next few years but Mans seemed to be a top, top player. I did gradually become aware of his well documented weakness, poor cue ball control which limited his break building ability but he was quite some potter and a good safety player. (I saw evidence of that in the highlights of the 78 final on YT) He the (famously without a 50 break) won the Masters in 1979, beating Higgins in the final quite comfortably.

Then his form / performance seemed to nosedive. I looked up his WC record after 1978 - and it needs to be borne in mind that up to and including 1981 he had a bye into R2.

1979 R2 - 8-13 (Griffiths)
1980 R2 - 6-13 (Higgins)
1981 R2 - 5-13 (Werbeniuk)
1982 R2 - 6-13 (White)
1983 R2 - 3-13 (Stevens)
1984 QR - 0-10 (Parrott)

It could have been that his inability to score heavily meant he was simply found out as more young players came into the game but his decline seemed to pre-date that and was quite sudden.

One for Cyril??

Re: Perrie Mans

Postby badtemperedcyril

Pierre “The Thud” Mans!

I think it’s fair to say that in the 70’s he got away with sheer potting ability and a canny safety game. The draw also went well for him in that 1978 World Championship. For some reason or other, Spencer always found Perrie an awkward opponent to combat, and obviously was feeling the pressure of defending his title - and the “Crucible curse” struck for the first time. Next up for Mans was Graham Miles, who by then wasn’t the force he’d been 3 or 4 years previous. Then, famously, in the semi-final, Perrie met the 64-year old legend, Fred Davis. I think it’s fair to say Fred was the more accomplished player but after building up an early 5-2 lead, seemed to tire and went missing for a couple of sessions as Perrie forged ahead by 14-8. Fred rallied though, and playing his best snooker of the match, drew up to trail only 14-16, when he missed the well documented frame ball pink from its spot, with the white right behind it. Even still, it took a well crafted 60 break by Perrie (his highest of the match) in the 34th frame to finally overcome the veteran, 18-16. Perrie competed well against Reardon in the final, frustrating his opponent and at times and riding his luck with long pot attempts which often having missed, went safe. The balls also often ran awkward - which tended to happen in Perrie’s matches - preventing Reardon from finding his break building rhythm. It was only 18-17 to Reardon on the last day but then Perrie ran out of gas as the champion overwhelmed him on the run in, winning 7 of the last 8 frames. After his Masters victory the following January, the first to be played at Wembley Conference Centre, Perrie seemed to lose his inspirational potting. In a way, throughout his most successful period, his naivety unintentionally worked as his secret weapon and threw his more orthodox contemporaries off their game. As he learned the finer intricacies of the game, in a way, it seemed more difficult to him. It’s fair to say also that in the early 80’s the overall level of competition was getting higher with the likes of Davis, White, Meo, Stevens, Knowles etc all coming through.

Re: Perrie Mans

Postby SnookerEd25

Perrie (actually spelt Pierrie - pronounced Peery (only Clive Everton ever pronounced it correctly!)) also had a memorable victory over Steve Davis in the 81 Masters. The much hyped Davis, already UK champion was a huge favourite but Perrie arrived in London to be met by a newspaper headline that described him as a ‘no-hoper’. “I didn’t come 50,000 miles to be a no-hoper” he growled, and credited that with spurring him on to a 5-3 victory. He then went out in a thrilling QF to Cliff Thorburn (then the World Champion) in a deciding frame. He certainly shouldn’t have been referred to in such a fashion, given he’d won the tournament two years previously but you know what tabloid newspapers are like. Steve, of course, lifted the WC trophy a few months later for the first time.

As to his drop in form, I don’t know if he ever based himself in Britain in the 70s, but certainly in the 80s he was domiciled back in South Africa and only travelling over for the big tournaments; the strain of travel may have been a factor in his tumble down the rankings. He only entered 2 tournaments in the 1981/82 season, for example - the International Open and the World Championship. He beat Tony Meo in both (good wins over a touted up-and-coming youngster) before falling to Steve Davis and Jimmy White respectively.

One other result of note, he lost to Marcel Gauvreau in the ‘84 UK, 6 frames to 9 :chuckle:

Re: Perrie Mans

Postby badtemperedcyril

I have footage of an interview he did with David Vine as a preview to the 1980 World Championship. He said he used to work full time as an insurance agent until December then come over to Britain to play snooker between January and May. He intended to give up his job and play full time professional snooker from then on. As you say, S25, he didn’t seem to play much in 81/82 so maybe his plan never came to fruition. He was certainly one of the games characters and along with Charlton and the Canadians, added some welcome international flavour to the game.

Re: Perrie Mans

Postby Badsnookerplayer

badtemperedcyril wrote:Pierre “The Thud” Mans!

I think it’s fair to say that in the 70’s he got away with sheer potting ability and a canny safety game. The draw also went well for him in that 1978 World Championship. For some reason or other, Spencer always found Perrie an awkward opponent to combat, and obviously was feeling the pressure of defending his title - and the “Crucible curse” struck for the first time. Next up for Mans was Graham Miles, who by then wasn’t the force he’d been 3 or 4 years previous. Then, famously, in the semi-final, Perrie met the 64-year old legend, Fred Davis. I think it’s fair to say Fred was the more accomplished player but after building up an early 5-2 lead, seemed to tire and went missing for a couple of sessions as Perrie forged ahead by 14-8. Fred rallied though, and playing his best snooker of the match, drew up to trail only 14-16, when he missed the well documented frame ball pink from its spot, with the white right behind it. Even still, it took a well crafted 60 break by Perrie (his highest of the match) in the 34th frame to finally overcome the veteran, 18-16. Perrie competed well against Reardon in the final, frustrating his opponent and at times and riding his luck with long pot attempts which often having missed, went safe. The balls also often ran awkward - which tended to happen in Perrie’s matches - preventing Reardon from finding his break building rhythm. It was only 18-17 to Reardon on the last day but then Perrie ran out of gas as the champion overwhelmed him on the run in, winning 7 of the last 8 frames. After his Masters victory the following January, the first to be played at Wembley Conference Centre, Perrie seemed to lose his inspirational potting. In a way, throughout his most successful period, his naivety unintentionally worked as his secret weapon and threw his more orthodox contemporaries off their game. As he learned the finer intricacies of the game, in a way, it seemed more difficult to him. It’s fair to say also that in the early 80’s the overall level of competition was getting higher with the likes of Davis, White, Meo, Stevens, Knowles etc all coming through.

Superb post