Spencer on Snooker

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CONTENTS CASSELL & COMPANY LTD 3 5 R E D L I O N S Q U A R E , L O N D O N W C 1 R 4SG Sydney, Auckland, Toronto, Johannesburg © John Spencer 1973 Illustrations © Cassell & Co. Ltd 1973 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Cassell and Company Ltd. First published 1973 I.S.B.N. 0 304 93898 x 1 How
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  CASSELL & COMPANY LTD35 RED LION SQUARE, LONDON WC1R 4SG Sydney, Auckland, Toronto, Johannesburg© John Spencer 1973Illustrations © Cassell & Co. Ltd 1973All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,without the prior permission of Cassell and Company Ltd.First published 1973I.S.B.N. 0 304 93898 xPrinted offset in Great Britain byThe Camelot Press Limited, London and Southampton F 11721 How it all Happened 12 The Basics 123 Positional Techniques 304 Positional Play 415 Safety Play 766 Doubles, the Rest, Tips and Match Play 1067 The Anatomy of a Century 121Index 135 CONTENTS  1How it all Happened I suppose I first became interested in snooker at the age of fourteenwhen my brother bought a game of bagatelle for £1. This consisted of a table top approximately 8 ft x 2 ft with nine holesnumbered 1-9 at one end, eight red balls and one black and twocues. The idea was to strike the balls from the bottom of the tableinto as many numbered cups as possible, the black countingdouble. The board folded to make a 4 ft x 2 ft table top and hadgreen baize on one side to avoid scratching.After a few weeks we decided to knock twelve nails into thebottom of the table for the six pockets and tied tape from one nailto the next to form the cushions, thus making a 4 ft x 2 ft table onwhich we used to play billiards. The tape cushions used to work providing you didn't play the shots too hard. But if you did hitthem a fraction too hard then the ball would simply roll over thetape and onto the floor. Nevertheless, I had many hours of enjoyment out of this and consequently when I started playing snookerI had already developed my basic stance.I also remember at about this time my brother started going toone of his friends who had a small snooker table about 8 ft x 4 ftbut they wouldn't let me play on it. I used to sit on a wall outsidethe snooker room watching them and dying to have a try myself as at this stage I had never played on a proper snooker table.The first time I played on one was in the local billiard hall atRadcliffe when I was fifteen. Although you were not allowed inthe hall until you were eighteen I persuaded my brother-in-lawto take me down as the manager didn't bother if you were withsomeone. After that I started to sneak in the hall when themanager wasn't looking and used to have a game on one of thetables which was out of sight of the office. He used to catch meand throw me out nearly every day until in the end he must havegot tired of it and allowed me to play.About the same time I became a member of the local ChurchInstitute and used to play there whenever I could. At the time Istarted to play in the billiard hall the manager used to stage aweekly handicap every Tuesday for the first thirty-two players toput their names down. It cost 1 s to enter, the first prize being 10s, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to thank Clive Everton, editor of  Snooker Scene, forhis help in producing this book.  Radcliffe, J. S.  Manchester  November 1972
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