A MAN who aims to unearth South Tyneside’s most talented pool players has revealed he is a Toon Army rebel.
Brian Halcrow, a comeback star on the national pool circuit, has recently opened Buzzers Sports Bar in South Shields, and it has been picked to host a qualifying tournament on May 9 for the World Eight Ball Pool Championship finals in Blackpool.
The former world number eight and UK number three - who also played in America – pocketed over £250,000 in prize money before he retired seven years ago
In 2004, Halcrow became the first player to register a 9-0 whitewash in the televised stages of a world championship, hammering Frenchman Cedric Suberville in the quarter-final.
Halcrow, 43, has already booked his own spot on the Golden Mile next month by finishing runner-up in the first tournament of his comeback – a UK Pool Tour challenge event in Northampton in February.
He used to be a season ticket holder at Newcastle United along with sons Jordan, 20, and Joel, 12.
They gave up their seats in the Sir John Hall Stand at the end of last season in protest at the Mike Ashley regime. Halcrow said: “I’ve not done badly for a former insurance salesman turned old-fashioned pool hall hustler.
“I have never lost a bet on pool with an amateur player and I never will.
“But as for Newcastle United’s lack of ambition, I’m not getting a season ticket again until Ashley goes.
“When he does, I shall start playing the world championship finals in a Toon shirt instead of a shirt and tie.”
George Harwood, the world federation’s vice-president, and chief executive of the UK Pool Tour, said: “With well over 1.5m regular participants in the UK, the sport of pool is a hotbed and the North East is no different.
“Brian is full of enthusiasm, he believes in himself and he is always buzzing – hence his nickname of Buzzer.
“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.”
n Amateur pool players who would like details of world championship qualifying at Buzzers should ring 07474 806047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org