WITHIN days of re-opening, a North East venue has been chosen to host a qualifying event for the World Eight Ball Pool Championship finals in Blackpool next month.
The announcement was made today by George Harwood, the world federation’s vice president and chief executive of the UK Pool Tour.
Only 14 pool halls in the UK have been chosen to host world qualifying tournaments, among them Buzzers Sports Bar in South Shields on May 9.
“Buzzer” is the nickname of its manager, Brian Halcrow, the former world No 8 and UK No 3, who has burst back on to the pool scene this season after seven years in retirement.
In 2004 Halcrow was competing in Blackpool when he achieved national recognition in becoming the first player to register a 9-0 whitewash in the televised stages of a world championship, hammering Frenchman Cedric Suberville in the quarter-finals.
When Halcrow’s new premises in South Shields opened with an exhibition by European champion Lee Kendall, Seaham-born administrator Harwood travelled from his base in the North West to check them out.
Harwood said: “Brian is full of enthusiasm, he believes in himself and he is always buzzing – hence his nickname.
“He has made an excellent job of getting his new club up to a high enough standard to immediately be selected for such an important tournament.
“With well over 1.5m regular participants in the UK, the sport of pool is a hotbed and the North East is no different. “
Halcrow, 43, has already clinched his own spot in the world championship finals by finishing runner-up in the first tournament of his comeback – a UK Pool Tour challenge event in Northampton in February.
He started on the UK Eight Ball pool circuit at the age of 23 and earned over £250,000 in prize money until he retired at 36, finishing with a sponsored two-year spell on the USA tour.
* Amateur pool players who would like details of world championship qualifying at Buzzers should ring 07474 806047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
They can also phone Buzzers between 12.0 noon and 11pm on 0191 456 1621.