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Bernard Bennett (31 August 1931 — 12 January 2002) was an English professional player of snooker and English billiards, for almost 30 years. Bennett played an important role, but an often unsung one, in the development of snooker and billiards during the 1970s and early 80s. This role was less as a player, than as an organiser, supporter and promoter of both games. Bennett turned professional in the late 60s, but did so without any significant amateur record. By entering the 1969 World Snooker Championship, and paying the almost prohibitive £100 entrance fee, Bennett enabled a straight knockout tournament to be held, although he was heavily defeated in the first round 4–25 by Rex Williams. He competed in the 1970 event but was defeated in the first round 11-8 by David Taylor. Bennett's efforts led to the restaging of the World Professional Billiards Championship in 1971, after a gap of 3 years. Bennett provided both the financial guarantee, the venue for the event, and the opposition, but was heavily defeated by defending champion Rex Williams 9250-4058.Bennett was a founding member of the Professional Billiards Players' Association when it was reformed in 1969, and, as well as being a player, was a well-respected administrator and coach for many years. Bennett was the owner of the Castle Club Southampton which was one of the first modern snooker centres. From here, Bennett organised many pro-am events in both snooker and billiards as well as a mini 'triangular' events featuring three professionals. The Castle Pro-Am event (which Bennett financially supported) was a popular addition to the snooker scene, and was usually held in December. Bennett, whose money was actually accrued from the building trade, went on to own other snooker clubs in the Southampton area.As an example of how important Bennett's pro-am Castle tournament was. At the end of the 1975/76 season, Alex Higgins (second on that season's earnings) had accrued only £2250 from the three main events of the season, so his £500 from winning the 1975 Castle Open was a welcome boost.On home ground, at his Southampton base, Bennett inevitably played better and in the 1977/78 season he defeated both John Pulman 3-0 and Doug Mountjoy, the latter being defeated 5-2 in the Castle Professional Tournament. Bennett held eventual winnerJohn Spencer to 3-3 in the semi-final of this tournament, before he lost 5-3.Bennett played both snooker and billiards into the 1990s, retiring from professional play in 1995. His final professional match was a 5-0 loss to Alfie Burden in the World Championship qualifiers. He died in 2002 at the age of 70. As Clive Everton noted in his obituary, Bennett was unanimously regarded with affection throughout the sport. Wikipedia