Dougie Borden

Doug Borden died Friday, June 19, 1998. Now more than ten years ago. *Blink*
Borden was special to those of us who played pool and snooker with him over the years. He taught many how to play and many of those how to play better. More than that, he taught by example how to respect the game – that in snooker you tap the butt of your cue quietly when your opponent makes a great shot; that you always call your own foul when your finger brushes the red; that you conduct yourself like a gentleman around the table.

Most Sportsmanlike Dougie

Most Sportsmanlike Dougie

Here’s Doug receiving the Most Sportsmanlike Player award at the IQ Billiards BCA banquet. No doubt the vote was unanimous. Dougie was not only a sportsman, he had a talent for making the game more enjoyable for his opponents…even as he was thrashing them.

True Smokey Basement Pool Hall Snooker Story:
Dougie was in a four-way, dime-a-point game of follow, at the same time coaching the kids on the next table.
He potted a black and paused to gave one of the neighbouring kids a quick lesson on safety play. He then turned back to his table and potted another black.
None of the players in Dougie’s game noticed that he hadn’t played a red – they’d been paying attention to the lesson. The black was respotted.
Dougie’s advice to the next table was good – his suggested safety had resulted in a vicious snooker. He took a minute to help the kid’s opponent with a few words on angles, running-side and getting out of snookers safely. He then walked around his table and potted the black a third time.
Again no-one noticed.
A spectator finally spoke up.
“Hey, Dougie…you going to shoot any reds to go with those blacks?”
Dougie paused and looked at the table.
“Foul,” he laughed.

Ken Shea and Doug Borden (1952)

Doug shakes hands with Ken Shea following a 1952 snooker final.
Kenny Shea has deservingly been inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of fame for his achievements over 30 years in snooker.
There is a story about this match. It is said that the venue did not want a black man playing on their tables. Kenny Shea allegedly forced the issue – Dougie had played his way into the final and Shea demanded they open the doors for anyone who could play like that. The photo bears witness to the outcome of that argument.
Douglas Walter Borden’s contribution to the game, certainly less well known, is no less in depth or breadth. He was a talented player – a student of the game who consistently made the best players work hard to win – and a patient teacher to many. He was gentleman at the table and away from it.

Doug’s memory is well served by the many players who are occasionally heard to say, “I learned this from Dougie…”
Cross-corner returns the cue ball to baulk. Easier shot than the pot straight down the rail if you know your angles and safer if you miss.

“It ain’t what you make, it’s what you leave.”


2 Responses

  1. that story is 100 per cent accurate knowing the Legend the way i know him’ many a drink we have shared, and he’ wasss colour blind’ as he would say’ you is’ what you is’ lol i heard a lot of storie’s about DOUGIE and we only talked a little, but you could see and feel he was class, for those of you that lost this gentleman always remember he is with You. Kenny is a true legend and he’s my very good friend. i watch in awe when he’s at his best’ let there be no douth that the legend could play world class snooker and can still beat any1 in the maritime’s , but the irish up bringing would have none of it ‘ family comes 1′ snooker 2′ my’ the stories we have lived through lol i will alway’s be his number 1 fan, Ken for those of us that love You’ long live the Legend of Ken O’Shea

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