Blast from the past: Rain drowns Proteas’ World Cup hopes in Durban

Today in SA sports history: March 3

02 March 2021 - 19:24 By david isaacson

Today in SA sports history: March 3

1985 — Snooker star Silvino Francisco, a 50-1 outsider with a world ranking of 17, wins the British Open Championship in Derby, beating Kirk Stevens of Canada 12-9 in the final and pocketing what was then a world record purse of £50,000 (R1m), which translated into R107,000 at the time. Francisco, then 38, was only the second man to be ranked outside the top 16 to win a major snooker crown. Francisco, who had relocated from Cape Town to England a few years earlier, learnt to play the game at the shop owned by his father Manuel, a fisherman who had immigrated from Portugal. There were two tables in the back where he would play each day after school. In 1997 Francisco was nabbed in Dover trying to smuggle 50kg of dagga in his sports car from Spain and was imprisoned for three years. ..

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