Leicester City Council Being Lobbied to Reverse Decision to Close Famous Pool Hall
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/30/2012 -- Snooker stars are lining up to save the Willie Thorne Snooker Club, including the world’s #1 ranked player, Mark Selby. Selby and others have signed an online petition supporting a rescue attempt of the Leicester club.
The club which was opened by ace snooker player Willie Thorne over three-decades ago has shut its doors because the Leicester City Council. The property’s landlord intends to turn the building back into offices for its own use.
Olivia Thorne, niece of the snooker star, started the petition last week in an attempt to save the club that her father, Malcolm Thorne, had administered for years.
Mark Selby posted a note thanking the club for giving him his start: “This was the start of my career! If it was not for Malcolm Thorne, there is no way I would be where I am today!” The world champion known as “The Jester from Leicester” was allowed to practice at the Snooker Club. There he was trained by Malcolm Thorne for free from ages 11 to 16, and even sponsored him as a tournament backer in early competitions.
More than 200 people had signed the internet petition to keep the club open as of yesterday.
Jimmy White was scheduled to play at the club next week. He remarked that he was let down that the club was closed, saying, “I was looking forward to playing at Willie’s club in Leicester again.”
The six-time World Championship finalists added, “I must have played there a hundred times and it always a pleasure. It is a real snooker club and there are not many of them left in Britain.”
“I hope that somehow this club can be saved because it is such an important venue. Everyone who is anyone knows Willie’s club and has played there.”
The club’s original owner, Nancy Thorne, mother of Willie, Malcolm and Robert Thorne, said the city would not be the same if it went away:
“It was real family concern and everyone loved that homely feel. The powers that be should move heaven and earth to save it,” the 86-year-old added. “My son Malcolm put his heart and soul into that place. It was unique as a snooker club and players came from all over the world to play there. I would say that at one time it was the most famous snooker club in the world."
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