Frank Ford - Champion Extraordinaire

 

Sergeant Frank Ford 

The above photo of man holding a billiards trophy dated 1929 has been displayed at the Police Recreation Club for many years but no-one seemed to know who he was, when it was taken, or why it was on display at the PRC. I began making enquiries about the mystery man last year (2010) but drew a complete blank from my friends and former colleagues from the Police Service.

As luck would have it I recently attended a function at the RBYC where I met Tyler Moniz, the Assistant Financial Secretary, and our conversation somehow got around to the history of snooker in Bermuda. Tyler appeared to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject and when I mentioned our mystery man he assured me that if I sent him the photo he would almost certainly be able to recognize him if he was a former Bermuda champion.

True to his word, Tyler quickly wrote back to me and identified our billiard champion as former Police Sergeant Frank Ford, who played a major role in the formation of the Bermuda Snooker League and the playing of the Bermuda Open Snooker Championships.

Frank was born in Yorkshire in 1905, and Tyler was advised by one of Frank's contemporaries that he came to Bermuda as a police constable in the late 1920's. He was clearly an excellent snooker and billiard player, and went on to hold the Bermuda Billiards Championship many times in addition to being a 3-time Bermuda Snooker Singles Champion. He also captained a number of trophy winning teams at the Old Colony Club.

As Tyler explained, Frank was the driving force behind the formation of the Bermuda Snooker League, and he put Bermuda on the international snooker map when he arranged to bring the world renowned snooker star, Joe Davis, to the Island in the post war years to play a challenge match against George Chenier – a great Canadian player from Quebec. As a result of this, Frank became a personal friend of Joe Davis and is mentioned in several of Joe's books.

Tyler provided us with what he describes as just a 'smattering' of Frank's accomplishments as listed below:-

Police Snooker Championship - Winner PC F. Ford - 1933
Bermuda Amateur Billiard Champion - Winner Constable Frank Ford 1935
Bermuda Amateur Billiard Champion – Runner-up Constable Frank Ford 1936
"A" League Billiards - Winner Frank Ford 1936
Bermuda Billiard "A" League – highest break 1936
Bermuda Open Singles Snooker Champion - 1941 (This was considered the "unofficial" championship)
Bermuda Amateur Billiard Champion - 1947 Sergeant Frank Ford
Bermuda Open Singles Snooker Champion - 1947-48 (Representing Police Recreation Club)
Bermuda Open Singles Snooker Champion - 1948-49 (Representing Old Colony Club)
Bermuda Open Singles Snooker Champion - 1953-54 (Representing Queens Club)
Captained OOC 2 to Hillman Cup, League Cup and League titles in 1972/73 season. First Triple Crown Winners.
Captained OOC 2 to Hillman Cup Titles in 1973/74 and 1975/76 seasons

As you can see, Frank had a long and successful sporting career.

Sincere thanks to Tyler Moniz for solving the mystery of the photo displayed at the PRC and for uncovering the story of a Bermuda police constable who, as a superb billiard and snooker play, certainly made his mark on the local sporting scene.


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