Vera Selby, the first-ever winner of the World Women’s Snooker Championship in 1976, has passed away at the age of 93. Selby was a significant figure in women’s cue sports, having excelled as a player, referee, and TV commentator. She received an MBE for her invaluable services to sport in 2016.
Selby clinched her maiden world title in 1976 by defeating Muriel Hazeldine 4-0 in the final. At the age of 51, she won the same event again in 1981 with a 3-0 triumph over Mandy Fisher. Besides these triumphs, she also won the World Women’s Billiards Championship an impressive eight times between 1970 and 1978.
In 1982, she joined the BBC commentary team for the World Championship, making significant contributions to the growth and development of the sport. Selby continued playing and coaching until her eighties, even participating in Women’s Day at the Crucible in 2016.
Tributes have poured in from across the snooker community, with former world champion Shaun Murphy and Reanne Evans expressing their condolences. Murphy stated that Selby was a trailblazer and a pioneer for women’s snooker, while Evans fondly remembered her interviews with the legendary player.
The World Snooker Tour (WST) and the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) also paid their respects to Selby, recognizing her tremendous contributions to the sport. The news of her passing has left many saddened, but her legacy will continue to inspire future generations of women in cue sports.