PAT HOULIHAN: 1929-2006

Pat Houlihan, a professional from 1971 to 1993, has died at the age of 77.

Houlihan beat John Spencer 11-3 to win the 1965 English Amateur Championship but was blocked from turning professional for several more years.

By the time he did, he was well past his best but won a match at the Crucible in 1978, beating Jim Meadowcroft 9-6, and played at Sheffield again in 1979, reaching a career highest ranking of 18th.

Among the players Houlihan beat during his professional career were John Virgo, Joe Johnson, Tony Meo and David Taylor.

His great friend Jimmy White today paid tribute, saying: "He was one of the greatest who ever played.

"He didn't fulfill his potential and it's hard to say why but he had such an influence on my game.

"If anyone has any footage of him playing I would like to buy it and show it, because the way he played was phenomenal."

No comments: