JOHN MORCOMBE, MANLY DAILY, NOVEMBER 30, 2016
HE WAS a member of one of Australia’s most famous sporting families as the Australian professional billiards and snooker champion for more than 33 years, and Australia’s first world professional snooker champion.
Now Horace Lindrum’s daughter, Janne Lindrum, has written the history of not only her father but also of his illustrious family – a family synonymous in this country with the green baize game.
But in writing the book, The Uncrowned King, Lindrum was both frustrated by what had previously been written about her father, or was deliberately omitted from histories of the sport, and favoured by the fact her mother recorded her husband’s achievements.
“Without that material, there wouldn’t be a story,” Lindrum said.
“She was a meticulous record keeper and kept 67 boxes of cuttings, photos and memorabilia.
“When he (Horace) died, his book hadn’t been published, so she finished it and drove the promotion of it, and it went into eight editions.”
The reason histories of snooker and billiards did the wrong thing by Horace is that he refused to kneel before Mammon at a time when most of his contemporaries were doing so.
When Lindrum won the world snooker title in 1952, it was a two-man race between himself and New Zealand player, Clark McConachy, because all the British snooker champions had withdrawn from the world championships in favour of a breakaway professional world match-play title. So while the rest played for money, Lindrum and McConachy played for pride.
Lindrum was a scion of Australia’s most famous family in snooker and billiards. His great-grandfather, Friedrich Wilhelm Von Lindrum, was Australia’s first billiards champion, and his grandfather, Frederick Lindrum II, was a great billiards coach. One of his uncles, Walter Lindrum, is considered Australia’s greatest billiards player and another uncle, Frederick Lindrum III, was an Australian billiards champion.
Lindrum said it was hard to write about her father.
“Yes. For a long time, I didn’t believe I lived up to the Lindrum name,” she said.
“Dad wanted me to be a lawyer and I wanted to be an actor. It was difficult, and there were so many things I didn’t know but found out.”
Lindrum The Uncrowned King is available on Amazon.
In The Uncrowned King Jan sets the record straight by exploding a number of fictitious mythologies, the first of which is that there was only one champion in the Lindrum family. The Lindrum family is the only family in sporting history to have produced five world-class sporting champions in the same discipline in only four generations.
The second fictitious mythology relates to Walter Lindrum.
In recording what is often touted as “the highest break at billiards in world history”, a statement which is incorrect,(a much higher break was recorded by a British champion in a marathon event in 1904) Walter Lindrum was found to breach a core commandment of sport: “THE FAIR PLAY” principle. For reasons that cannot be explained, members of the press continuously refer to Walter’s break without reference to the breach.
New Zealand champion Clark McConachy spent hours at the billiard table in order to demonstrate the breach to the Governing Body. He finally succeeded and the Governing Body noted the breach and introduced a ban against the nursery cannon and the introduction of baulk-line play which required a billiard player to be an all-round billiards artist. There were only a few players in the world at the tine who could play all-round billiards and those who could do so rose to the top of the Snooker tree; one of those champions was Horace Lindrum.
Replaying the Walter Lindrum reel serves to detract from the remarkable achievements of Horace Lindrum who was Australian professional billiards and snooker champion for over 33 years. He won the title in 1931 from his uncle Frederick William Lindrum II, who had held the crown for 27 years. Walter Lindrum was never an Australian champion.
A riveting narrative, The Uncrowned King confronts all things “controversial”, on a multiplicity of fronts, whilst, at the same time, telling what is an INTENSELY HUMAN STORY about an army of champions from many different fields of human enterprise.
The stories of the WOMEN behind these champions, for example, are just as captivating as the stories of the champions themselves as are the stories of the men and women with whom these champions crossed paths on their journey through historical time.