Michael Ferreira - The Bombay Billiards Tiger

It is interesting to know that India has been able to produce many talented billiards players who have captivated the world audiences with their genius and artistry despite billiards not being one of the most popular games in the country. Three names that come to mind are Michael Ferreira, Wilson Jones and Geet Sethi.

Michael Ferreira was born in Bombay on 1st October 1938. He studied in St. Joseph’s School at Darjeeling. He became interested in billiards at Darjeeling. He went to college at St. Xavier’s in Mumbai. He later studied law at the Government Law College in Mumbai. He is a lawyer by profession.

Michael Ferreira started playing billiards in 1954 at the age of sixteen. Wilson Jones was the first player of billiards who represented India at an international level. Michael Ferreira went one step beyond him by not only representing India but making his presence felt for a long time to come. He won the World Amateur Billiards Championship four times.

For the first time in 1960, he participated in the Indian National Billiards Championship. In 1964, he represented India in the World Amateur Billiards Championship at Christchurch in New Zealand where he went up to the semi finals and lost narrowly to Wilson Jones. He had to wait for thirteen years. Perseverance paid dividends as in 1977; he won his first World Championship Title at Melbourne. He followed it up with another title the next year. In 1978, he became the first amateur to break the barrier of a thousand points in the National Billiards Championship and created a World Record by scoring 1,149 points.

Michael Ferreira earned the Shiv Chhatrapati Award in 1971, the Arjuna Award in 1973 and the Dronacharya Award in 2001 for his coaching achievement in billiards and snooker. The difference between billiards and snooker is that billiards is played with white, red and yellow balls. The white and yellow are the cue balls and the objective is to score set points. Snooker is played with fifteen red, six coloured balls of various colours and one cue ball. The player has to pot a red ball first, then a coloured one and again a red and so on.

Michael Ferreira is known as the `Bombay Tiger’ and a rebel with a cause. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1981 when he won his Second World Amateur Title but he refused to accept the award because he felt that people connected with the sport of cricket and hockey were heavily favoured, hinting particularly at Sunil Manohar Gavaskar getting the Padma Bhushan that year. He ultimately got the Padma Bhushan Award in 1983 when he won his Third World Championship Title. He is known as a true rebel who has always fought for equal opportunities like facilities and encouragement to be given to other sports and games apart from cricket and hockey in the country.

Michael Ferreira has achieved a lot in his life and he is currently involved with a Company called QNet that believes in helping people. He is working with their marketing operations under the team label of `Faith’. He is helping others gain their financial freedom. His achievements at the national and the international levels have been instrumental to give impetus to the game of billiards in India. He has been a role model for young, aspiring billiards players in the country including Geet Sethi who has also kept India’s head high in international competitions by winning three Amateur and five Professional World Championship Titles. Michael Ferreira loves big cars, good food and wine. His favourite pastime is reading, listening to Western Classical Music and writing.

Article Posted By : tahnaklView All Articles

Tahseen Nakavi Juror

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Keywords :
Michael Ferreira , Billiards , Sport


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