Snooker royalty in Courtenay as Cliff Thorburn visits

Canadian legend entertains with trick shots, tips and stories

Last week, Maryann McConnell organized and hosted a delightful ‘Evening With Cliff Thorburn,’ at the Evergreen Club in downtown Courtenay.

Thorburn, originally from Victoria, is a former world snooker champion, member of the Order of Canada, and holder of countless Canadian and international snooker titles.

McConnell, a Comox Valley resident and member of the Evergreen Club’s Cue Sports group, was formerly the No. 2-ranked women’s snooker player in the world, and has held numerous Canadian titles in snooker, 8-ball and 9-ball. It was a unique treat to have two such gifted athletes together in Courtenay.

Members packed the Cue Sports room to enjoy the Thorburn show, and no one left disappointed. He captivated the audience with a variety of trick shots; provided tips to improve everyone’s play; and entertained with stories gathered from a lifetime of international competition and travel – tales of folks ranging from Don Cherry to a very young Justin Trudeau.

Thorburn, also played six abbreviated frames with local members Don McCall, Tom Lambourne, Peter Croonen, Mike Helman, Alwyn Bishop, and his long-time friend, McConnell – repeatedly demonstrating why he was known as ‘The Grinder’ during his competitive career. He wrapped up an informative and entertaining evening by generously providing ample time for photos and autographs.

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