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Back in the day - Snooker star Dennis Taylor calls time on career - The Irish News, Jan 29 1999

Dennis Taylor parades the World Snooker Championships trophy through Coalisland
The Irish News Archive

EVERYONE remembers where they were the night the sweaty palms of Dennis Taylor potted ‘that’ black against Steve Davis to win the World Snooker championships at the legendary Crucible Theatre.

Truly an outstanding highlight in the history of, not only snooker, but sport in general. Fourteen years on, the affable Coalisland man is calling it a day from snooker’s fast lane.

Taylor, who was knocked out of the Welsh Open this week by James Wattana, claimed he’s not enjoying the circuit as much as he used to.

“I’ve been playing 27 years and I just don’t have the time to practice anymore.

“I’m fed up with going through the qualifying rounds with maybe 16 tables at venues.

“When you have been used to playing in front of TV and large crowds it’s very very difficult to motivate yourself. I’ve tried, but I just can’t do it and that’s probably one of the reasons I’ve decided to pack it in,” said Dennis.

At present, Taylor is in the throes of setting up a senior circuit with fellow blue-rinse darlings Cliff Thorburn, Steve Davis, Terry Griffiths and Joe Johnson who have all expressed an interest in the idea.

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THE vastly-experienced Birmingham battler Anthony Hanna was last night named as Damaen Kelly’s British flyweight title opposition on March 13.

Panix Promotions trainer Dean Powell confirmed that Hanna, with a fight record touching on 50, had been appointed by the BBBC to face the Belfast flyweight in Manchester.

It is unclear whether the fight will be a double title affair with Kelly’s Commonwealth crown, which he captured in super style from African Alfonso Zvenyika in December, also up for grabs.

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THE Republic of Ireland’s U17 side continued the form which took them to the European Championship title last season with an opening victory in the Meridian tournament in South Africa.

The hosts lost out 2-1 in the game at Capetown which was dominated by the Irish side.

David McMahon opened the scoring in the 17th minute and Gary Dempsey doubled the Irish advantage in the 35th minute, finishing off good work by the Byrnes, Dessie and Sean.

The South African skipper scored a 75th minute penalty after Jim Goodwin was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident but the boys in green deservedly held on for three points.

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KAREEM Bougria came to Belfast two years ago as an acrobat in a travelling circus and fell in love with the place.

So much so, that he went back home to Morocco, acquired a visa and packed his bags with a one-way ticket back to Ireland.

Tonight at the Balmoral Hotel, Belfast boxing will be banking on heavyweight Bougria and his adopted city team-mates to send Dublin tumbling out of contention when the two sides clash in the annual Irish News Cup fixture,

“Kareem is an exceptional guy, a great trainer and very elusive in the ring,” said Abbey club coach Sandy Rice, who has been training Bougria for the past four months.

“We haven’t rushed him into the ring, but he had a good win in Tandragee recently and we thing he will do well.”

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