Walter Lindrum

JAM

Pool and Snooker Railbird
Silver Member
"There was no room for Walter Lindrum, the billiards player, so they had to change the rules to beat him."

I read this quote in this article: "The Top 10 sports stars of all time, as chosen by Jeremy Pierce."

Well, the piqued my curiosity to learn more about "Wally," as he was fondly called: Walter Lindrum Wiki Article.

I then remember creating a thread about Wally on this very forum a few years ago: Where's Uncle Wally?

I'm not sure we'll ever read in the United States about a pool player being in a top 10 list, but if we were in Philippines, I'd venture to guess that a couple of those slots in the top 10 would be Filipino pocket billiard champs! ;)

Walter Lindrum has a stamp in Australia with his likeness on it. In some circles, he's the best pool player to have ever lived. Here's Walter at 15 years of age. Can you imagine shooting pool in this get-up?! :grin:
 

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dkleather

AzB Silver Member
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There is a very strong argument that he was the greatest cueman ever. He has set records that are highly unlikely ever to be beaten and he died a poor man after devoting his life to giving exhibitions for charities, mostly for veterans of WWI and WWII.

Joe Davis devoted a chapter of his autobiography to Lindrum, he called it "Lindrum the Incomparible". What an accolade from Joe who did not lack ego himself.

In it he relates the story that when the hotel where Lindrum practiced went on fire, the fire brigade ran in and carried out the billiard table before beginning to tackle the blaze.

My favourite Lindrum story is when a guy walks in to watch him practising and Lindrum has gathered the balls and is scoring away rapidly. The guy asks "how many has he scored", someone replies "dunno but he's on his second bit of chalk"!
 
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JAM

Pool and Snooker Railbird
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There is a very strong argument that he was the greatest cueman ever. He has set records that are highly unlikely ever to be beaten and he died a poor man after devoting his life to giving exhibitions for charities, mostly for veterans of WWI and WWII.

Joe Davis devoted a chapter of his autobiography to Lindrum, he called it "Lindrum the Incomparible". What an accolade from Joe who did not lack ego himself.

In it he relates the story that when the hotel where Lindrum practiced went on fire, the fire brigade ran in and carried out the billiard table before beginning to tackle the blaze.

My favourite Lindrum story is when a guy walks in to watch him practising and Lindrum has gathered the balls and is scoring away rapidly. The guy asks "how many has he scored", someone replies "dunno but he's on his second bit of chalk"!

Hey, thanks for the great tidbits, Mate. Enjoyed the read! :smile:
 

dkleather

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
From Lindrums book

"Let there be no mistake about it, ability to make a thousand break was not written on my birth certificate, although my father and grandfather were champions of Australia. This indicates inherited aptitude-I grant that freely and gratefully; but when I remember that I began my Billiards as a child of nine, made a hundred break when I was twelve, and practiced six hours a day throughout my teens, I am going to say that what genius I have inherited was indeed perfected by "an infinite capacity for taking pains", a remark I feel entitled to make without laying myself open to a charge of affectation.

Now, during those years I did two things. I worked and I thought for myself. My working motto was to stick it until my back ached, and then begin again. Such was the intensity of my daily routine of practice".

On John Roberts

"He is unforgettable to me. Here and now I could play every shot of a break of over 600 I saw him make. Still, with all reverence to his memory the world moves on, and there came a day when I had to think for myself, a lone cueman on a mountain peak so solitary that even the footprint of the great John was not there to guide".
 

rayjay

some of the kids
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Great words from a great man, thanks. Also, is it just me or does that photo look like a young Keither?
 

spktur

AzB Silver Member
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There are a number of film clips of Walter playing on Youtube. If you watch these it's not hard to believe he may have been the best cueman ever.
 

Bob Jewett

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Andrew Ricketts wrote a biography about Lindrum in 1982. The last I heard he was in the process of revising it.
Lindrum 001.jpg
 

Bob Jewett

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Here is a picture of Lindrum's tombstone from the Rickett's book.
Lindrum 002.jpg
 

JAM

Pool and Snooker Railbird
Silver Member
Here is a picture of Lindrum's tombstone from the Rickett's book.
View attachment 224872

That is a cool tombstone. I remember reading about that. Thanks for the book info. :smile:

Authorities list the cause of death as heart failure officially, but it has been suggested that Lindrum died as a result of food poisoning from a steak and kidney pie.

Here's a color shot of the tombstone.
 

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JAM

Pool and Snooker Railbird
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Great words from a great man, thanks. Also, is it just me or does that photo look like a young Keither?

You know, I do see a slight resemblance. I don't have any photos of young Keith. Wish I did. :smile:
 

RackOnTour

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The greatest

I have been associated with cuesports for 40+ years and have always held the achievements of Lindrum as unsurpassed in any cuesport discipline. There will always be debate as to whether or not this skill could have been transferred to another form of the game but the drive to be the best is unmistakable and deference to his greatness was given by Joe Davis, Alfredo D'Oro and other world champions. A planned exhibition series against Willie Hoppe never eventuated. Reasons for this have probably been twisted over the years as fans and patrons of either discipline gave credit to their own hero's glory. Most likely the tour never eventuated due to a previous failed tour that only incorporated English Billiards and did not draw the crowds promised by the promoter. Hoppe was however noted to remark during the planning of the tour that never was - "as long as it's only an exhibition". You are welcome to draw your own conclusion from this.
 

dkleather

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
"There was no room for Walter Lindrum, the billiards player, so they had to change the rules to beat him."

I can't believe I never picked up on this, I was just so pleased to see Lindrums name but the statement is abject nonsense.

They never beat him. He retired as undefeated world champion and hel the title 17 years.
 

Bob Jewett

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I can't believe I never picked up on this, I was just so pleased to see Lindrums name but the statement is abject nonsense.

They never beat him. He retired as undefeated world champion and hel the title 17 years.
I'm not sure, but I think you have mistaken JAM's intent. They did change the rules with the intent to beat him but he still won. Even when he had to give up a 30% handicap.
 

dkleather

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm not sure, but I think you have mistaken JAM's intent. They did change the rules with the intent to beat him but he still won. Even when he had to give up a 30% handicap.

I am not criticising JAM in any way. Merely the accuracy of the statement regarding changing the rules to beat Lindrum. I consider it, at best, lazy journalism.

Of course I am referring to championship play, in which he concede no handicap, but he was never beaten. The statement at best should read to TRY to beat him.

As for the rule change, here is an account of it:-

---------

The Baulk-line Rule

By this time all the leading players, including Lindrum, recognised that some further restrictions were required to the cannon game in order to revive public interest. To this end an approach was made to the governing body and on 31st August 1932 the BA&CC introduced an "experimental" rule requiring the cue ball to cross the baulk line at least once in every 100 points. This was developed in an effort to counter the growing domination of nursery cannon play by all the top professionals, not only Walter Lindrum.

Since his first appearance in England, Lindrum had invented and perfected the greatest and most classic example of break-building ever seen. He set out to make thousand-break billiards the rule instead of the exception, and achieved this by an incomparable exhibition of billiards genius both in conception and execution.

1932 News of the World Tournament

The News of the World offered to promote a tournament under the new baulk-line rule and invitations were accepted by Lindrum, McConachy, Newman, Davis and Smith.

Lindrum arrived in England on 22nd September 1932 promising to give the new rule "a fair trial". This trial lasted just two weeks during which he played a match against Newman. Unable to make a thousand break, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the rule, and in this he was supported by his opponent. The promoters of the News of the World tournament promptly dropped the baulk-line rule from their conditions for their event, substituting a limit of 75 cannons. Willie Smith withdrew from the tournament in protest.

Shortly afterwards the BA&CC responding to pressure from the professionals, modified the baulk-line rule to enable a crossing every 200 points, and under this restriction Lindrum made his first four- figure break in a two week match against McConachy.

---------

Now from this, it can be seen that the rule was NOT instituted to hamper Lindrum but to reduce the scoring power of all the top professionals. In fact in the next two world championships the only player to record a four figure break was Lindrum himself, so the rule change actually favoured him.

He won both these finals by narrow margins against Joe Davis so who knows?

This was about as sucessful as Tiger proofing Augusta.

Again, I have no criticism of Jam, only joy at seeing the Lindrum name but the statement (not Jams) certainly lacks accuracy.
 

HollyWood

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
there's another book -

Didn't Walter write a book on snooker and trick shots - I remember many parts but it was a book borrowed for a few days. He has more hundred ball runs and he taught them to run the 100, But what was so cool was all the trick shots we see today done on a 6-12 snooker!!! many many yrs ago. thanks Jam mark
 
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