Ex-pro plans 24-hour 'snookerthon' to raise funds for ‘inspirational’ best friend’s funeral

A former professional snooker player from Sheffield has organised a 24-hour ‘snookerthon’ to raise funds for the funeral of his ‘inspirational’ best friend.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 2:39 pm

Michael Forbes, who was known to friends and family as Mick, passed away with cancer on Monday aged 64. He worked as a builder and a doorman at the city’s pubs and clubs, and volunteered at the Stephen Harrison Academy for for disabled youngsters in Attercliffe.

He is survived by his mum Muriel, 89, and siblings Trevor, Basil, Joanne, Joyce and Paulette.

Stephen Harrison MBE who played professionally from 1992 to 2004, said: “Mick was my oldest friend, he always followed me through my professional game and he was like a dad to me when my dad died.

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Mick and Stephen at a celebratory meal after the ex-pro was awarded an MBE.

"I just want to do something, he loved snooker. Since we have been going from 2007 he spent all his time just teaching kids how to play and he did it in his own time.”

Mick, who lived in Fox Hill, was a talented cueman and also refereed the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Alex Higgins in exhibition matches at Stephen’s academy.

‘The Whirlwind’ signed a snooker cue and photo for Mick’s family upon hearing the news of his death.

He once made a 138 break against Stephen and had been watching the final of this year’s World Championship before he died.

Jimmy White signed a snooker cue and photo for Mick's family.

“I don’t want his work to be forgotten, Stephen, who met Mick through his late father, Ray, added.

"He was my best mate. I remember when my dad died when I was 21 he said to him: ‘Look after Stephen’. I just want to help him back.

The ‘snookerthon’ has been organised for 22 May, starting at 9am, and will see Stephen play the children who regularly attend the academy before taking on staff members and Mick’s friends.

"It needs to be promoted, what Mick’s done for Sheffield children,” said the Wisewood-based ex-pro, now 48. “He helped hundreds of kids of the years believe in themselves.

"He would drill confidence into them so they would walk with their heads up high. I want to raise a few quid so his family can give him a good send off. He was an inspirational guy.”

Visit the GoFundMe website to donate to Stephen’s fundraiser.