Sheffield snooker event to remember 'inspirational' Ray Harrison

A memorial event for a former paraplegic world snooker champion from Sheffield will be held in the city this month.

By Nik Farah
Monday, 05 August, 2019, 15:59
Ray Harrison was 1985 Paraplegic World Snooker Champion

Stephen Harrison, a former snooker pro himself, will host the event in honour of his dad, Ray Harrison, at the Players Lounge in Ecclesfield on August 17.

Ray Harrison was the 1985 Paraplegic World Snooker Champion, and his snooker career inspired his son Stephen to launch The Stephen Harrison Snooker Academy in 2007 – a non-profit social enterprise providing snooker coaching and competitions for a wide variety of disadvantaged groups.

“The focus of our work is with young offenders, people with physical and learning disabilities or mental health problems, and young people and adults not in education, employment or training,” said Stephen, who lives in Wisewood.

“My father was highly successful at playing this sport and also in promoting snooker to many disabled people worldwide. He was such an inspiration to me, we are staging this national event as a tribute to dad. It’s 25 years since he died, and it’s most important to me that everyone should remember what a legend he was on growing disability and junior snooker, not only in the UK, but in other country around the world.”

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Some 32 players have signed up to take part in the event later this month, all with physical disabilities or learning difficulties.

Stephen added: “This event is to celebrate my father’s effort of growing the sport of snooker from grass roots.

“The Lord Mayor of Sheffield will attend the tribute event, to show his support. Following the championship, World Snooker star Gary Wilson will play a 10-frame snooker exhibition and there will be a photo opportunity, plus autographs. There will also be a raffle with 10 winnings tickets, all of whom will get to play Gary Wilson in the exhibition.”

If you would like more information on the academy, or to buy a ticket for the Gary Wilson exhibition, call 0114 4788047.