India Hails A New World Champion In Wilson Jones

By J. Agnel DSouza


GOAN TRIBUNE January 11, 1959, Sunday, SPORTS

It was his grand-mother who first forced him to enter a billiard-saloon, as a teenager to call his uncle home for lunch and it was thus, that he was first fascinated by a billiards table, the two white balls and the red and the many coloured balls.


After that Wilson often paid visits to the billiard-saloon and decided to try his hand with the cue and the game of billiards and snooker, in which one day he was to win a world title and bring honour to his country.


No one can aspire to be a world beater without going up the ladder the hard way and if Wilson Jones, from the Vissanji Sports Club, is a World figure today it is because he as spent hours at the billiards table sacrificing many of the evenings to perfect himself in all the strokes that one can execute with the cue.


For unless the three balls and the many coloured balls are your slaves, going where you direct them to go, there is little hope for any player to be a master that Wilson Jones is today.


The indoor game of billiards is played by many but few have perfected the art as Wilson Jones has. He is a master with the cue and his various exhibitions in the past and at present against some of the world’s best billiard players, gave hope this Byculla lad would day be a world champion.


Besides excelling in the table game, Jones is one of the fastest scorers in the game today and he proved this to the hilt when playing against the former world champion Tom Cleary, both in Bombay and in the World Championship at Calcutta.


After partition, Pakistan had a world champion in Hashim Khan who won the world squash championship. India did not boast of a champion in their rank then. Now Wilson Jones of Bombay has achieved this rare feat of being the first Indian to win a world title and to be acclaimed as an official world champion.


There are many who can associate themselves with the triumph of Wilson Jones. But no one will deny the fact that his employers M/s. Vissanji's have given him all the help that nay player can expect.


Besides permitting him ample hours of practice, Jones is allowed to play on the Vissanjis private table. Jones has never let down his employers and I know for a fact that besides his wife and son, there were no happier people at the airport to receive Jones, than the Vissanjis.


The airport was gaily decorated for the arrival of Mr. Nkhruma, Prime Minister of Ghana, who arrived two hours later. But when Jones alighted from the plane carrying with him the beautiful world billiards trophy the festive appearance at the airport was befitting, the arrival home of a world champion.


For bringing such an honour to this country, Mr. Jones was invited to Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, where he met the President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, and later at a special interview with Prime Minister Nehru showed all the trophies that he carried with him all the way to Delhi.


Jones was feted by a number of organizations in Bombay but I am told there is still a big honour awaiting him as there are plans ahead to award him a civic reception.


It is not beyond speculation to surmise that he will


Dhyanchand, Balbir Singh and Dig Vijay Singh Babu in receiving perhaps the Bharat Ratna for being the first Indian to be a world champion.


So much has been written about his records, his breaks and his display in the other world championships in which he participated that there is no need for me to dwell on these points but if I wrote this story of Wilson Jones for the Tribune readers it is with the hope that all of you who have the will and determination to achieve the top in your favourite branch of sports may remember Jones who rose from a saloon players to be the World Champion in the green baize game.