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Horace Lindrum

Name: Horace Lindrum

DOB: January 15th, 1912

Died: June 20th, 1974

Nationality: Australian

Professional Career: 1931-1957

Highest Ranking: #N/A

Highest Break:

Career Highlights: 1952 BA&CC World Champion, 1931 Australian Professional Champion

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Early Career

Although his famous uncle Walter was to be a star in the game of billiards, Horace instead favoured snooker and having turned professional in 1931, showed his potential immediately with victory in the Australian Professional Snooker Championship.

Following a further five years which were spent honing his game, he entered the World Championship for the first time in 1936 and was able to beat Paul Terry, Clare O’Donnell and Stanley Newman to reach the final. There he would meet none other than the seemingly unbeatable Joe Davis, though for a while it looked like he could be the man to end the defending champion’s grip on the tournament, leading 27-24 with ten frames to play. Typically however Joe was able to hit back and take the lot and another world title as a result.

Although he was obviously disappointed by this defeat, Horace continued to flourish in the game and in 1937 again made it to the final where he would have a chance to gain his revenge over Davis. It was not to be however as Joe emerged from a tight match a 32-29 winner.

Barring a round two exit to Alec Brown in 1939, this was to be as close as Horace got during the pre-war years as he focused his efforts into promoting the game outside of the UK. When the tournament resumed in 1946 however, he was to have a third and final crack at Davis for the title though again it was to be a familiar outcome as Joe won the match 78-67.

World title at last

What was to follow was a difficult period for the sport as many of the game’s main protagonists entered the breakaway World Matchplay Championship, now regarded as the true World Championship at the time. Horace though, along with Clark McConachy decided to persist with the BA&CC title and it was left to those two to contest the 1952 competition final. It was to be fourth time lucky for Lindrum and he won a one-sided match by a resounding 94-49 scoreline.

Unfortunately for Horace however, due to the absence of the other key players at the time, let alone the recently retired Joe Davis, his World Championship victory is not always given the recognition that it might have been. Ultimately though he won it and his name is on the famous old trophy still being fought over today as a result.

Following his triumph, his career at the very top came to an end and he set about touring the world in a series of exhibition events. When he finally did hang up his cue he did so with a great career behind him and despite being unable to conquer the great Davis, gave him a much tougher run than many others had managed.

Trivia

As kindly provided by Jan Lindrum from Lindrum Enterprises, here are some interesting facts that you might not have known about Horace:

1. Horace Lindrum was the first player in history to make world record breaks at snooker of
114,137, 139, 141.

He made the possible 147 at the Penrith School of Arts in Sydney in 1941.

2. He remains the only snooker player in history to hold the British, Irish, Scottish, African, Maltese, Chinese, Thai, Singaporean, Malay, South Pacific, New Zealand and Australian Snooker Records simultaneously. He broke his African and New Zealand snooker records on two occasions.

3. He is the only snooker player in history to make one thousand snooker centuries in public performance.  Many of those centuries were made in world record time of 2 1/2 to 6 minutes.
His first snooker century was recorded at the age of 16, 1928.
At that time he was the Marbles Champion of New South Wales. His 500th snooker century was made at the German Club in Pretoria with three consecutive centuries in the same session.
His 1,000th snooker century was recorded in Sydney in 1970.

4. He recorded the first snooker century for India in 1952 at the W. I. A. A. Club in Bombay.
He recorded a snooker break of 136 shortly afterwards at Bangalore.

5. His first four figure billiards break of 1431 was made at the age of 21 years and he recorded
the first world record 139 at snooker in the same session.

6. In 1957, he met South African champion, Peter Mans, in a snooker challenge and recoded
25 snooker centuries including a South African record break of 143.

7. In 1948, at the Melbourne Town Hall in Victoria, he recorded an all time record in another
International challenge against Peter Mans.  It was the highest number of centuries ever recorded
in two weeks of snooker match play.  Ten centuries to Lindrum.  Two centuries to Mans.

8. In 1949, Horace Lindrum was declared technically blind by a Harley Street eye specialist, yet
recorded more snooker centuries in the latter part of his 50 year career than he did in the beginning.

9. He is the only snooker player (and, perhaps, the only sportsman in history) to have a career
of 50 years.

10. He was one of the great entertainers of the green cloth and even the great Joe Davis
said, ‘Crikey!’ when he saw him play.

Finally, Horace Lindrum was Australian professional billiards and snooker champion for over
thirty three years and his book, Snooker, Billiards and Pool, published posthumously was
an international best seller with eight editions.

In 1951/52, he defended the governing body and, in so doing, had to play 143 frames
of snooker over two weeks on a championship table with championship pockets
against the then World Professional Billiards champion (who had defeated all the
British players to win that title), Clark McConarchy.

Tournament Victories:

Major Titles (1)

Event Year
World Championship (BA&CC) 1952
  • Ben Jordaan

    I am Ben Jordaan, Vice Chairman of Benoni Constitutional Club. Horace played exhibition games at Benoni Constitutional Club, Benoni South Africa in 1953.He played against my Father inlaw Clive Butler who is now 80 years old.Horace also played against a very dear friend of mine at the same club namely Johnny van der Merwe, Johnny has been a member of our club for 51 years. Benoni Connie Club as it is now called still has 5 championship snooker tables and is Headoffice for Easterns Snooker.

    • Shanil

      Hello Ben, I’m a snooker/pool player and a keen historian on cue ball sports.

      I’m trying to update this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Snooker_Championship

      I wonder if you have anything further to add to the page – such as error corrections? I’m also interested in who won the professional championship in the early years apart from Perrie Mans.

      Are you Pierre Jordaan’s dad?

      thank you

  • Riley Wood

    My name is Riley and Horace
    died on my birthday I feel so sad!

  • Jan Lindrum

    I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your defense of my father’s record.

    If we are to place any confidence in primary evidence – Horace Lindrum’s career was nothing short of extraordinary and is a cause for celebration not controversy.

    The sports of billiards and snooker would be well-served by re-visiting their very rich history as – unquestionably – the Pioneers laid a wonderful foundation and left a remarkable legacy.

    Their collective efforts are deserving of recognition and reverence – more particularly because they performed their feats in a world where travel and communications were not as they are today on billiard tables with billiard pockets.

    In relation to my father, I quote Will Swanton – Sydney Morning Herald – 5th May, 2010…

    ‘To put it into context – imagine during the Super League war that only two teams stayed true to the Australian Rugby League. All those two teams could do was play one epic series to decide the champion. That’s how Horace Lindrum became world No 1 in a marathon two week play-off against New Zealand Clark McConachy. It wasn’t his fault almost everyone else was consumed by Super League-style greed.

    Nowadays the British still try to discount the result but at the time the revel players were branded ‘The Bully Boys of Sport’ by the British tabloids who called Lindrum and McConachy heroes for respecting the traditions of the game.

    Lindrum is listed as the official 1952 champion. End of section. He raised hundreds of thousands of dollars during his 50-year career for charities, hospitals and schools. He paid his own way to play all around the glove and remains the only player to have held the British, Irish, Scottish, African, New Zealand, Maltese, Singaporean, Thai, Chinese, Indian and Australian snooker records, simultaneously’.

    Perhaps the players of the modern world could play an epic event
    – a final of 143 frames on a table with billiard pockets?

    The Official Horace Lindrum web site will be released shortly.

    Again – I thank you – on behalf of all members of my family and, particularly, my mother who spent twenty-five years as a stunning ambassadress at her husband’s side for both her own country – Great Britain – and her adopted country – Australia – and my beloved father who proudly waved both the Lindrum and the Australian flag for 50 years.

    My mother was the organizing secretary of the British Billiards and Snooker Association and Control Council at the time of first meeting my father in 1946. The British Billiards and Snooker Association and Control Council was – as you know – the governing body for the sports. It was founded by John Roberts Jnr., towards the end of the 19th century and was the body that formulated the rules of the game of snooker. It is my understanding that World Snooker is a private enterprise.

    Kindest regards,

    Jan Lindrum BA (Hons) First Class Notre Dame University, Sydney.
    Managing Director, Lindrum Enterprises

    • Mark Craig

      Can someone help, i own the snooker cue that Horace Lindrum used, not sure what year, got it from my grandfather, who lived in Natal, South Africa, it is also signed my Horace Lindrum himself

    • Roy Hughes

      Hi I was pleased to read your letter about your father Horace Lindrum and wonderd if it was possible that you had an autograph of his going spare as I have a collection of every world champion that won bar one and your fathers is the one that I dont have and I would be delighted if I could add his to complete my collection of the old and the new Champions,if possible email me and I will give you my home address,Your R Hughes

    • Roy Hughes

      Still waiting in hope that somebody has the autograph spare of Harace Lindrum to complete my collection of every world Champion thats ever been.

  • John C Taylor

    I, as a British subject and Billiard player aged 44 will always regard Horace Lindrum as the first Australian World Snooker Champion, Niel Robertson the second.

    kindest regards
    John C.

  • allan

    hi i have come to own a horace lindrum snooker cue from a good friend of mine and thought how nice it is i was just wandering if any body knows if they are vauable

    many thanks

  • pamela smith

    I have reseached the history of Springwood School of Arts (Blue Mountains NSW Aust.) and Horace, very kindly, played exhibition matches there to help raise money for WW11 efforts.
    Regards Pamela

  • Kristal

    what impressive stats he surely was Great do not let any1 diminish what he truly accomplished You should be very proud.

  • richard beer

    does anybody remember an exhibition held in cape town circa late 1950’s where my father, cyril beer beat horace by 2 frames? anybody’s input woild be much appreciated. richard beer – november 2011