The greatest

TRIBUTES have been paid to Coleraine’s greatest ever pool player, Davy Tosh, who passed away in the early hours of Monday morning at home after battling cancer.

Davy, a father of two teenage daughters, from Quickthorn Place in Harpur’s Hill, was just 42.

The funeral will be from his home at 1pm this Wednesday to Coleraine Cemetery.

Described as a legend in the sport of pool in his hometown, Davy won the 147 Coleraine Singles a record six times and was a long-time Northern International.

His first Coleraine Individuals success came back in 1997 when he defeated Adrian O’Kane at the Festival of Pool. His record-breaking sixth title - which came remarkably when he was fighting cancer last May - was a stunning 6-5 success over Raymond Baxter in the Sperrin Club.

Davy’s wonderful talent was recognised when he was called up for the NI Men’s team in the mid 90s. He won the European Championships with the NI team in St Malo, France in 1996 and World Championship titles in 1998 and 1999.

He twice won the Northern Ireland Doubles - with Raymond Stockman in 1997 and Lee Caulfield in 2011 and also lifted the NI Three Man title in 1997 alongside Stockman and Larne’s Bill McIlroy.

In the Coleraine Tennents League he was both hugely respected and loved. He was a great competitor and a true sportsman.

Longtime friend and former team-mate, Raymond Stockman, said: “He was in the top three pool players in Northern Ireland, all day long. He was greatly respected in pool circles all over Northern Ireland.

“In terms of Coleraine pool Davy was a legend. I don’t think his record of six Singles victories will ever be beaten.

“Personally Davy left me with a lot of great memories. We started the Sperrin team together in 1994 and we enjoyed Inter League victories, travelling with the Northern Ireland team on internationals and winning Northern Ireland titles.”

Away from pool Davy - a great Liverpool supporter - also played snooker, loved golf and horse racing and played as a midfielder for both Hillview and Macosquin Village in the Hutchinson Tiles League.

Raymond added: “He was a great friend. Davy was a very fit person, always looked after himself and didn’t smoke. We’ll all miss him very much.”

Coleraine Pool League PRO, Raymond Baxter, said: “He will be a great miss to our league.

“His record of six singles titles has set a standard which is unlikely to be equalled, let alone beaten.

“Having lost in two of those finals to him, I know first hand how great a player he was. I still remember his words of encouragement to myself, after our first final, and they definitely meant a lot coming from someone like him.

“The way he performed in last year’s final against me, despite his illness, was amazing. On behalf of the committee and the league, I send our condolences to the family circle.”

Another close friend, Damien Reid, the captain of the Bullseye A team, of which Davy was a member of, right up to his passing, said: “’On behalf of the team we have all lost a great friend and an unbelievable pool player.

“He has left us with lots of good memories and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with Sharon and the family at this sad time”.

As a mark of respect all of Tuesday evening’s Coleraine Pool League games have been postponed.

Davy is survived by his mother Annie, brother Roy, sisters Susan and Jacqueline, daughters Stacey and Shelby, partner Sharon and ex-wife Claire.