Over the past few months I have been researching, with the grateful help of some long serving members both past and present, our league history as we are approaching our league centenary.
I have accumulated the names of many past players who have graced our league and amongst the names I have received are Billie Swann, Greenwood Doodson, Vernon Lee, Albert Saxon and Austin Fleming. Of all the names I collected most people remembered Frank Mitcheson. I understand Frank played in our league for most of his adult life and as a youth was a multi talented Sportsman – a natural at most sports. He also played professional football.
His local teams included Rochdale, Doncaster Rovers, Crewe Alexander and Mossley from the Cheshire League. He was also a good cricketer and played in the Central Lancashire and Saddleworth Leagues but it was on the snooker table that his talents were really appreciated. He had total control of the cue ball in both billiards and snooker but it was at billiards that he is best remembered.
Rarely would he hammer the cue ball around the table and he would often stroke the cue ball at perfect pace putting it just right for his next shot.The in off shots to the bottom pockets were his favourites. He would play the shots in sequence incorporating the cannon shot.
He rarely potted the red ball as he did not like the constraint of having the red ball on its spot and potting the white restricted future cannon opportunities.
Like most top class players all the shots he played seemed easy ones. This was due to his positioning of the cue ball. If he did ever run out of position he had all the shots including side, back spin and follow through to rescue the positioning. He had very good close control of the cue ball.
This is hopefully the first of a series of articles regarding the more popular members in our league .