THE LATEST speaker at Javea U3A’s monthly general meeting was something of a sporting legend – and was right on cue with his audience.
Former world title holder at both snooker and billiards, Ray Edmonds, entertained with stories of his days as a player and later as a BBC and ITV commentator, as he addressed members at the Parador Hotel, Javea.
Ray, now 81-years-old and living in Ondara, talked about some of the famous names he played against during his glittering career, such as Joe Davis, Ray Reardon, John Spencer, John Virgo, Terry Griffiths and Alex (Hurricane) Higgins.
He told how he had nothing but admiration for the skills of multi-world champion Steve Davis, but considered the greatest of all was Stephen Hendry – a ‘natural’ if ever there was one.
Ray’s career spanned four decades, from the start of his amateur days when he won his first tournament at just 10-years-old. He won the world amateur snooker crown twice as well as the world professional billiards title. He left it until the age of 43 before becoming a professional snooker player, which he admitted was probably a little late, before he turned commentator.
‘Being world champion brought terrible pressure,’ Ray reflected. ‘Everybody wanted to beat me – in tournaments and even in exhibition matches. When I finally lost my title after four wins, I must say it was such a relief. I can quite understand how champions such as tennis’s Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic feel!’
Ray received a round of applause from the audience and was thanked by President Eric Atkins.
Classical music impresario John Deacon will speak at the next Javea U3A monthly general meeting on June 28.
For full details of Javea U3A events and activities, visit the website www.u3ajavea.org.