Billiards and Snooker
The first report of a billiards tournament was in December 1920 which was when the new Billiard Hall opened (Click here for details) and it appears from a report in December 1924 that this was an annual event. By November 1926 a team from Fochriw were playing in the Rhymney Valley League. The prizes for the Christmas 1927 Handicap were: 1st prize a turkey and 2nd prize a duck.
During December 1941 a snooker match was played between members of the Fochriw Institute and a Military Unit which, presumably was drawn from soldiers stationed at the Petrol Depot which was located on the site of the old Fochriw Colliery. The Institute team won by 8 frames to 4.
A newspaper report of March 1943 advised that Fochriw’s record in the Upper Rhymney Valley Snooker League was: Played 21; Won 6; Lost 11; Drawn 4; Points 115. They were 8th in a league of eleven teams.
March 1946 saw the visit Sydney Smith, a professional billiard and snooker player. The M.C. was the Vicar, Rev. E. Adams Evans. Mr. Smith’s opponent in billiards was Mr. Arthur Palmer, who played a very fine game. Final scores: Smith 654; Palmer 111. Smith made breaks of over 150. In snooker, his opponents were Messrs. G. Jones, R. Dummett and G. Davies. Smith conceded four blacks start to each, and R. Dummett won his game.
Another visit of a professional took place during September 1950 when the billiards and snooker champion, and five times runner-up for the world championship, Mr. Horace Lindrum, paid a visit to the billiard hall at the invitation of the officers and committee of the Library and Institute.
An exhibition match was played in March 1955 at the Billiard Hall between Cliff Wilson and Ray Reardon, both of Tredegar, Ray Reardon made a break of 101.
Regretably, the “Hut” which was totally constructed of wood, burned down in XXXXXX and this saw the end of the game of billiards and snooker at Fochriw, a replacement building never having been built.
Apart from the bare fisted fights that used to occur at Twyn y waun during the late 1800’s (Click here for more information) until the 1950’s Fochriw was not well represented in the boxing world. However, this was rectified by Billy Gardner when, during 1952, he became the Welsh Schoolboys Champion and British Railways Champion in 1957, winning the title in the Royal Albert Hall in London. His talents were such that he joined the Benny Jacob’s Boxing Gym and met and sparred with boxing greats such as Joe Erskine. He also represented Wales on seven occasions against Scotland, Ireland, Army & Navy, U.S.A, Belgium and Holland.
On the administrative side of the sport during 1960, Mr. John P. Llewellyn J.P. was elected as chairman of the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association and re-elected to the post in August 1962 for another two years. Since 1960, Mr. Llewellyn represented the W.A.B.A. in Belgrade, Copenhagen, Holland, Germany, Ireland and France.
In July 1964 he was appointed team manager of the British Olympic boxing team to travel to Tokyo in September of that year. Mr. Llewellyn lived at Ffynnonau Duon farm at Pentwyn, and was chairman of the British Amateur Boxing Committee for two years. One of the most experienced boxing administrators in the country, he was manager of the Welsh boxing team that took part in the 1958 Empire Games in Cardiff, when they obtained one gold, two silver, and three bronze medals. Mr. Llewellyn was manager of the British side that met the Rest of Europe, and has been in charge of the Welsh team at home and abroad on many occasions. He took the first Welsh team behind the Iron Curtain, and has been an observer at the European Championships in