Snooker league is 70 years old and still popular
PUBLISHED: 11:54 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 09:32 02 June 2010
By ADAM LAZZARI WORLD No. 1 Ronnie O Sullivan famously snapped his cue and said snooker was a dying sport when competing in the World Masters last year. Snooker is undergoing a dramatic revamp under promoter Barry Hearn, but remains popular in Fenland. Ar
By ADAM LAZZARI
WORLD No. 1 Ronnie O'Sullivan famously snapped his cue and said snooker was a dying sport when competing in the World Masters last year.
Snooker is undergoing a dramatic revamp under promoter Barry Hearn, but remains popular in Fenland.
Around 150 players compete regularly in the Wispay Payroll Wisbech Snooker League.
It is believed to be more than 70 years old and one of the longest established sports leagues in the district.
Secretary and treasurer Neil Copping said: "I've got records going back to 1946. There used to be four leagues. We now have two, but the league has recently had a bit of an upsurge and there are now quite a few younger players taking part, which is good for the future."
Cadell Kelly, aged eight, from Doddington, is believed to be the youngest player to ever compete in the league.
He played for Chatteris Working Men's Club B at Downham Market earlier this month.
Sam Gates, 13, plays for Chatteris Cons, in the same team as world No. 12 Joe Perry.
Perry has been playing in the league since he moved to Fenland from London in 1989.
Perry said: "It's great to see youngsters playing snooker. Years ago there were tournaments all over the place, but there are not so many any more.
"Snooker in the 1980s and 90s was very popular. There has been a general decline, but there is clearly quite a bit of interest in Fenland."
Copping said: "We're really grateful for the support of Wispay Payroll. It enables us to keep going and have a decent spread of trophies at the end of the season.