"big" bill werbeniuk dies

$teve

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Werbeniuk dies of heart failure

Former snooker player Bill Werbeniuk has died of heart failure at the age of 56.

Along with Cliff Thorburn and Kirk Stevens, 'Big Bill' as he was often known formed a powerful trio of Canadian players who challenged for every tournament in the early 1980s.

Werbeniuk was famous for consuming huge quantities of lager during his matches and claimed smoking and drinking helped steady his nerves at the table.

The vast amounts of lager he consumed were not just for pleasure - Werbeniuk claimed he suffered from a rare disease which caused his hand to shake and lager seemed to be the only way of controlling it.

Werbeniuk, who topped 20st, turned professional in 1973, won the North American and Canadian championships in his first season and was reputed to have won $20,000 in 10 hours playing 9-ball pool in America in 1977.

But he recalled afterwards: "The trouble was I lost it all in the next 20 minutes - but there was a guy there with 200,000 in his briefcase and I was hoping to win that as well."

In 1979 he reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship and the semis of the UK event, moving to England and setting up home in a converted bus in which he travelled from tournament to tournament.

He was in the top 16 in the very first ranking list and over the following eight seasons only once dropped out of that elite group. His best position was eighth for the 1984-85 season.

His best achievements on the green baize came in the 1980s. In 1982 he helped Canada win the World Team Cup and his first major final came two years later in the 1984 Lada Classic, when Steve Davis beat him.

used to enjoy watching bill in the eighties......a sad loss.
 

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