He inhaled deeply, and drew on his fag,
And then flicked the butt up into the air.
It sailed serenely out of the window
And he settled back into his chair.
He was usually listless, at this time of the day
Snooker hall business was bad as a rule,
That is until they came out of work,
Although he got one or two from the local school.
He didn't see this chirpy little lad,
With a face so chalky and tight,
Even if he could, he wouldn't have known
That his name was little Jimmy White.
He just wouldn't credit that this little chap,
Would, 'ere long, come before the eyes of the nation,
As a naturally gifted, imperturbably calm,
And impeccable, potting sensation.
So young Jimmy slid past, without being seen,
And without any fuss at all,
Entered the once unsavoury interior,
Of his neighbourhood snooker hall.
It's image has changed considerably since then,
And so, by the way, has our Jim.
The game has become a top money sport,
And certainly did wonders for him.
Joe Davis was the first to be famous,
A tradition carried on by brother Fred.
But now its a very different ball game,
Which produces considerable 'bread'!
All thanks are due to the media,
Because television has opened the door,
And young men have turned into millionaires.
It isn't for yobs anymore.
There's an Irish maestro who cleaned up, in the past,
Moving around the table like a train,
Higgins they called him, amongst other things,
Like the 'whirlwind' or the 'hurricane'.
Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Parrot, John Higgins,
And I'm only naming a few,
Have mastered the art of the green baize game,
And of manipulating the white ball, with a cue.
They can 'stun' it, 'swerve' it, give it 'top' or 'back' spin,
Almost make it stand up and say please,
Manoeuvring it right around the snooker table,
With an incredibly assured expertise.
Now one of the intricacies of this snooker game,
Is the way that they situate the white.
Far, far away from the object ball,
So very well tucked out of sight!
So the opponent has to go right around the table.
To make contact with the ball of his choice.
If he can do that and leave the other man 'lumbered',
His supporters shout out and rejoice!
It's known as non physical, a non contact game,
Players are mostly well behaved and quite quiet.
The very last thing you're likely to see,
Is a punch-up or an unholy riot.
That's not to say that feelings don't run high,
Or that a vital miss isn't felt,
But you can afford to take the odd knock or two,
When you've moved into the stockbroker belt!
Apart from the play and the money you can win
Commercial endorsements provide a big pot.
Exhibitions, appearances and the odd book or two.
Can send you bank balance up, like a shot.
So lads don't let fame go right up to your heads,
Keep that cue action going, smooth and true.
It's a very good ride on the gravy train.
And I'd stay on it if I were you!
Remember to play and keep to the rules
And keep at least one foot on the ground.
Above all, keep the TV lads in good heart,
'Cos you'll fade out if they restrict you to 'sound'.
by Bray Koff.
Author: Trevor Durbidge Copyright © 2005 [TJD]. All rights reserved. Revised: October 31, 2007 .