IT will soon be the end of an era following the resignation of St George’s from the Stalybridge Snooker League.
The church’s association with the Stalybridge & District Sunday School, Billiards, Snooker & Whist League – to give its full name – goes back to 1930.
And so far as league records show, they won only one trophy, the billiards league in 1937/38.
League officials do not know when the original team left the league but it rejoined as New St George’s in the mid-1980s.
In 1999 they had enough players to start another team and they became St George’s ‘A’ and the new St George’s ‘B’.
During their time in the league, St George’s ‘A’ won many team trophies, their first as snooker league champions in 2000/01, a feat that was repeated in 2003/04.
They have also won the whist league trophy and the Taylor Cup but there is no record of them winning the Berry Cup.
St George’s ‘B’ also won many trophies, starting with the Taylor Cup in 2003/04 and following it with the Berry Cup the next season. In 2008/09 they won three trophies – Berry and Taylor Cups along with the whist league title. They never won the snooker league title as St George’s ‘B’.
In 2012, the Sportsman were in danger of leaving the league so they merged with St George’s ‘B’ and became St Peter’s.
St Georges ‘A’ reverted back to St George’s and they played at St Peter’s. In their second season St Peter’s won their first snooker league title and St George’s won the league in 2014/15.
For the past few years St George’s and St Peter’s have been based at St Peter’s, but have previously played at Dukinfield Town Hall, Hassell Street and Lime Street.
Both St George’s team members have not only won individual knockout trophies but the more prestigious individual awards given by the league.
Alun Davies was given a long-service award and Mike Davies, Steve Malkin and Roy Nelson have won the sportsmanship trophy.
Mike Davies has also been a league member for more than 30 years as have Phil Vidler and Ian Hopton, members of the current St Peter’s team.
The league says it is regrettable that St George’s have resigned as they were struggling to complete some of their weekly fixtures.
Others teams have also struggled on the odd occasion to field a full team and with this in mind the league allowed teams to play with only three players instead of the normal minimum of four, but even this could not save them.
It is hoped they may return soon as the league has only recently started to get new teams after having only four teams for a few years. It is hoped their players will join other teams next season.
“A lot of leagues have closed over the past few years, but we want to continue to enjoy our Thursday evenings of snooker and whist,” explained Ian Hopton.
The league is always looking for new teams and players. If you want further details, go to: www.stalybridgesnooker.co.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org