Monday, October 6, 2003

Billiards great Jones no more
 DH   Mumbai, Oct 5 (PTI)

Former world billiards champion Wilson Jones passed away at his residence at Worli in central Mumbai yesterday morning after a prolonged illness.
He was 81. He is survived by his wife and a son.

"He had suffered from a paralytic stroke twice earlier and had suffered a third stroke, which had paralysed his right side completely," family sources said.

Jones had been admitted to the hospital around a month ago for treatment. The end, however, came at around 11 am when the former world champion was at home.

Jones had won the world billiards championship in 1958 and in 1964.

He was also awarded the Padma Shri, the Arjuna Award, the Dronacharya Award and the Dadoji Konddeo award.

Jones also played an exhibition match before the Queen at Buckingham Palace and had an audience with Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr Rajendra Prasad.

TRIBUTES: Jones, the first Indian to become a world champion not only in billiards but any other sport, was a wonderful person with tremendous will power, former world billiards and snooker champion Geet Sethi said "He (Jones) was a super human being, a disciplined and a warm person," Sethi said adding, his passing away is a tremendous loss to the game. "Besides, he gave so much to the game which will be remembered for long", Sethi added.

PMS CONDOLENCES: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee condoled the death of Jones, who, he said, was instrumental in raising the standards of Indian sports. ''Wilson Jones was one of the pioneering sports persons who inspired a new confidence in our youth by winning the first ever world title as an individual sports person in billiards.