Player Profile

Cliff Wilson

NameDate of Birth Country
Cliff Wilson10-05-1934Gwent

Name                                     :                       Cliff Wilson

Highest Ranking                  :                       16 (1988-89)

Highest Break                      :                       136

Century Breaks                   :                       6

Cliff Wilson (10 May 1934 – 21 May 1994) was a Welsh professional snooker player. He became 1978 World Amateur Champion. After turning professional he got into the world's top 16 in 1988 at the age of 55, despite very poor eyesight and a number of other ailments.

Amateur years

Wilson was a talented amateur snooker player who grew up in the same town, Tredegar, as his friend and snooker rival Ray Reardon. He won the National Under-19 Championship in 1952 and 1953 and the Welsh Amateur Championship in 1956.

Giving up the game

Snooker's popularity was on the wane during the 1950s and it was extremely difficult to join the small, closed professional circuit. Wilson became disillusioned with the game and gave up snooker completely for fifteen years. During this time he worked at the steelworks at Llanwern.

Turning professional

Wilson's interest in the game rekindled in the early 1970s and, after winning the IBSF World Amateur Championship in 1978, he finally turned professional the following year at the age of 45.

He broke into the top sixteen for one season, 1988/89, a remarkable achievement for someone aged 55. He later went on to win the first World Seniors Championship in 1991 (beating Eddie Charlton 5–4 in the final), at the time picking up a cheque for £16,000, his highest prize winnings.

Illness and death

Towards the end of his life, Wilson suffered from a number of problems with his back, knee and heart, eventually developing an 'inoperable disease of the liver and pancreas'. Although he continued to play professionally, recording a century break in the 1994 International Open in January 1994, he succumbed in May of that year, aged 60.

 

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