Fenland’s Mandy Fisher steps down after 30 years of running ladies’ snooker

AFTER 30 years of incredible service, the driving force behind women’s snooker has shocked the sport by resigning as chairman.

Mandy Fisher, who was born in March has lived in Wisbech since 1984, insisted it was time for someone else to take the reigns of the World Ladies Billiards and Snooker Association.

The 49-year-old rescued the women’s game in 1981 when the former association disbanded, and she remained in control of the game until she quit last week.

Fisher, the 1984 women’s world snooker champion, said: “I gave up my job to play snooker professionally because I fell in love with the game.

“The WLBSA quickly became my baby and I felt responsible for it. However, I can’t always be there to pick up the pieces. I don’t want to see the game fail but I feel like I’ve done all I can.

“The game needs a fresh outlook and a new approach. I’ve been elected president and I’ll always be there to fall back on but I’m taking a back seat from now on.

“I’ve done my best but I feel the game’s come to a bit of a standstill. It’s time to pass on the baton.”

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Fisher oversaw the game’s heyday in the 1980s and 1990s as she helped power the sport to national newspapers’ front pages.

She also rubbed shoulders with iconic stars such as Alex Higgins as she played exhibition matches around the country.

Fisher said: “They really were wonderful years and I thought we had made it.

“It’s been a real rollercoaster ride along the way but I’ll never give up hoping that women’s snooker will return to the glory days I once saw.”

The 2003 world seniors champion now only competes in mixed pairs events and works as a foot health professional in Wisbech.

Brian Harvey, an England international at billiards, has replaced her as WLBSA chairman as colleagues and players praised her work for the women’s game.

Some of the tributes paid to Mandy Fisher.....

• “WE want to put on record our thanks to Mandy for her incredible dedication to snooker over the past 30 years. She has done a fantastic job in women’s snooker, often in difficult circumstances. So many players owe a lot to her.”

(JASON FERGUSON, chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association)

• “IT wasn’t always easy but Mandy’s heart was always in the right place and she worked tirelessly for little reward. No-one ever came close to achieving better than Mandy. She shouldn’t go unless Barry Hearn is taking over!”

(JANE O’NEILL, Ex-WLBSA secretary and tournament director)

• “WITHOUT the time and effort that Mandy has put in over the years there wouldn’t be any tournaments for us to play. I want to say thank you to her.”

(REANNE EVANS, World number one and seven-time world champion)

• “I CAN’T thank her enough for all the hard work she has put in to ladies’ snooker. If it wasn’t for her there would be no ladies’ snooker. You can’t beat a person who never gives up. Mandy’s left big boots to be filled.”

(MARIA CATALANO, Ronnie O’Sullivan’s cousin and world number three)

• “IT has been a bit of a shock. Mandy has tried to keep the ladies game together over very turbulent times and we must keep Mandy’s legacy alive.”

(MARIANNE WILLIAMS, current player)

• “IT’S very sad and we will miss her. Mandy has always worked very hard for us, maybe she wasn’t appreciated enough. She’s a lovely person and has always been kind, encouraging and supportive to me.”

(KATIE HENRICK, world number four)

“LADIES’ snooker will not be the same without Mandy as chairman. It is fitting though that she is going to be our president and will still be associated with us.”

(EMMA BONNEY, Six-time world billiards champion)