Tribute: The late Stephen ‘S.A.’ Moniz. *Photo supplied
Tribute: The late Stephen ‘S.A.’ Moniz. *Photo supplied

I am sad to report that the well-known cueist Stephen Alton Moniz passed away last Thursday night at the age of 88.

S.A., as he was known to all, had been experiencing health problems for the past few years, but this did not dampen his strong spirit, sharp wit and brilliant memory.

From an early age, S.A. was a keen sportsman and avid soccer player and cricketer.  As an adult he added golf and softball to his repertoire of sporting interests.  

However, many of us would have identified him first as a fine left-handed billiards player and then as a snooker player to be reckoned with.  

From his mid-twenties until his late seventies, S.A. could be seen patrolling the snooker tables in his beloved Old Colony Club.

Early newspaper clippings show that S.A. was a participant in the first Bermuda Open snooker singles championships in 1947.

In 1956 he was a member of the Old Colony Club team that won the League Championship. He followed this with similar titles in 1962, 1963 and 1964. 

In 1962 S.A. recorded his best result by claiming the runner-up position in the Bermuda Open Snooker Singles Championships. He was also a long-time supporter of the International Snooker League, attending many overseas competitions.

In the 1960’s, S.A. moved to Australia with his wife Loretta, where he spent the next twenty years with his growing family.   

In the early 1980’s S.A. returned to Bermuda and to the snooker tables where, in 1994, he played on the Old Colony Club 2 team that secured a runner-up place in the Gosling Cup.

While S. A. had a long and distinguished sporting career, he will be remembered most for his love of snooker, his knowledge of the game and his generosity in sharing this knowledge with anyone who wished to improve their skills and performance.  

It was S.A. who noted that the great snooker and billiards Champion, Frank Ford, in his later years was having difficulty in potting the black ball from the spot. 

S.A. advised Frank to concentrate on the blue ball which was an easier shot and to forego the black.

 This advice was quickly put into play, and Frank soon became known as “Blue Boy”.  This insightful advice extended Frank’s stay at the top of the snooker hierarchy by another 20 years!

Throughout my snooker career my uncle S.A. provided me with sage counsel in all aspects of snooker play and, on more than a few occasions, a sharp reprimand for careless or shoddy play.  

The Bermuda Snooker Association joins me in extending our sincere sympathies to his family.

S.A. may be gone but neither he nor his legacy will be forgotten.