Harman Patil (Editor)

Sydney Lee (snooker player)

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Sport country  England
Career winnings  £150
Professional  1934–1952, 1973–1974
Died  1986
Highest break  59 (1939 World Championship)

Sydney Lee (April 1911 – 1986) was an English professional billiards and snooker player. He was four times a quarter-finalist in the World Snooker Championship during the first half of the twentieth century. He was a snooker referee on Pot Black. He was the game consultant for a 1970 episode of Steptoe and Son entitled "Pot Black" and, as well as performing a number of trick shots was the stand-in for many of the more difficult regular shots seen in the show.


Lee enjoyed considerable success as an amateur billiards player. He was runner-up in the Empire Billiards Championship in Sydney in 1931 and winner when the event was next held, in London in 1933. He was also runner-up in the English Amateur Billiards Championship in 1929 and won it 4 times in succession from 1931 to 1934.

Lee turned professional in 1934 and first played competitive professional snooker in 1935, entering the 1936 World Championship. In his first match, he faced Clare O'Donnell, and having trailed 4–8, recovered to lead 15–13; however, O'Donnell won the next three frames to prevail 16–15.

His effort at the next World Championship concluded similarly, Lee losing his first match 11–20 to Horace Lindrum, and the same followed in 1938, when he lost 7–24 to Joe Davis.

Having lost to Sydney Smith in the 1939 World Championship, Lee played in the 1939/1940 Daily Mail Gold Cup; there, he defeated Smith, Walter Donaldson, Alec Brown and Tom Newman, but lost to both Joe Davis and Fred Davis. Brown finished top of the group, winning the competition. At that year's World Championship, Lee lost 11–20 again, this time to Fred Davis.

Upon the resumption of that tournament in 1946, Lee had no more luck than in his previous attempts, losing his first match 12–19 to Stanley Newman. However, he did enjoy a victory in the 1947 edition, beating Jim Lees 19–16, before losing 10–25 in the second round to Willie Leigh.

Lee progressed to the third round of the 1950 World Championship, defeating Canadian Con Stanbury and Herbert Holt, but lost at that stage, 14–21 to Kingsley Kennerley.

Following a first-round loss in 1951, Lee did not play a competitive match for twenty-three years; however, he entered the 1974 World Championship and was seeded to the first round. There, he met John Pulman, but scored only 210 points as the latter whitewashed him 8–0. Playing in the tournament earned Lee £150, the only prize money of his career, but he did not enter a professional tournament again.


Sydney Lee (snooker player) Wikipedia

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