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24 May 15 11:40
Date Joined: 07 Jan 08
| Topic/replies: 2,398 | Blogger: ccd's blog
I'm  going through every online video of Alex and collecting 'gems' - shots or moments that capture and resonate the spirit of the man and the way he played. I hope to create the ultimate Alex video. If anyone has any digital footage of Alex that is not online and they would like to donate it please do pm me!
This is not the story of Alex, more of a series of vignettes.
I also intend to also add audio clips from Alex and those who knew him.
This is what I have so far after a day of working on it. (the sound is a bit off at the moment):
Pause Switch to Standard View The Alex Higgins project
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Report Angel Gabrial May 26, 2015 9:00 AM BST
Really enjoyed that and it just seems incredible how quickly Alex was up off his shot. You will never see anything like him again.
Report ccd May 26, 2015 10:25 PM BST
He seems to employ the whole of his body in those flare shots. He really feels the balls in its like he is changing his mind about the shot several times during the delivery of the cue. He kind of aims and adjusts minutely several times before during and after the start of the delivery of the cue. I'm fascinated by the guy. It's interesting he said all his siblings were musically gifted as he blurs the line between sportsman and artiste. No one else has ever come near to occupying that kind of space.
Here is volume 2
Report gentlemanjohn May 26, 2015 11:56 PM BST
Great work ccd, and so right about Alex. I remember as a kid my whole family gathering around the box to watch him play and none of them were really interested in snooker, it was just Alex, he was hypnotic and compelling, you couldn't take your eyes off him. Shame about him as a man, but that's all being said. And you got my favourite shot in there, the banana shot on the red into top left black pocket!

Btw what's the song playing over it? Not familiar with it, but liked it a lot.
Report ccd May 27, 2015 9:15 AM BST
Cheers John. The song on volume 1 is Heart of Soul by The Cult. The song on volume 2 is Kurt's Krimes by Kurt Vile. I'm trying to work with the graininess of the footage but dream of having access to the BBC's library - I wonder if they keep the footage of every match they broadcast. I would happily go through an Alex match a day and snip out moments. There must be so much hidden Higgins gold out there...
Report Angel Gabrial May 27, 2015 10:00 AM BST
I grew up with a father who despised Alex. A family friend was a snooker promoter back in the 70`s and booked Alex a few times and of course Alex turned nasty over money when slumped at the bar, my fathers account was that he had his hands on the legs of Alex`s stool to pull it away from under him as Alex was calling everyone in the bar a bunch of losing coonts and so on.

However as a young player myself i thought Alex was incredible and was polite on the two times i met him for autographs. Regarding the subject of artiste, as someone who plays the guitar and harmonica the connection is `timing`, finding the sweet spot and the rhythm of glide.
Report ccd May 29, 2015 8:58 PM BST
Here is volume 3. This is a short intense Higgins espresso shot that hopefully captures the aggression of his playing style. He was getting a lot of anger out on the table I think:
Report gentlemanjohn May 29, 2015 11:02 PM BST
Again very well put together, the bit at the end was very poignant, i got glassy eyed watching it. I probably watched it at the time, but i don't remember all that heave ho after the Griffiths match, looks like the 86 or 87 Masters. There was a bit of a mob mentality about it, but it always generated a special atmosphere that will probably never be repeated.
Report ccd June 2, 2015 12:51 PM BST
Volume 4:
Report ccd June 9, 2015 7:04 PM BST
Volume 5:
I hope these are as fun to watch as they are to make. Although the app im using throws the audio and video out synch when you save the work. On several occasions I nearly launched my tablet out of the window!
Report Angel Gabrial June 16, 2015 1:40 PM BST
Great vid ccd.
Really enjoying what your doing.
Report ccd June 16, 2015 6:44 PM BST
Thanks. In one interview a drunk Higgins almost absent mindedly said "its a game of movement". We are told that moving on the shot throws it off but equally it may throw it on. This is what Higgins knew. A feel this is gave his game another dimension that made it beautiful. Why not use the fact that any tiny movement influences the outcome of the shot to your advantage? Other players aim then take the shot. Higgins is aiming throughout the shot or at least leaving room for a correction. He also uses his wrist a lot. The back three fingers alone hold the butt of the cue - this allows the wrist to become another 'lever' with which he feels the shot through to completion. In tennis there is a term called pronation where the wrist snaps forward during contact with the ball pushing the racquet head down during a serve. He incorporated a similar subtle action i feel.
Report ccd June 16, 2015 6:45 PM BST
Also he used to lick the cue ball after a frame. What do we now hear from Davis et al? Applying a lacquer to the ball will stop kicks...
Report Angel Gabrial June 17, 2015 12:18 AM BST
Interesting ccd

And the wrist action pronation allowed Higgins to have a very short pull back before strike. As we know the shorter the pull back before impact, the less room for error for putting unintentional side on the cue ball, to throw it off line. So when he did move his body the cue was still on correct impact and yes the added feel by involving your shoulders and arms like a conductor controlling a symphony, feeling the whole flow through the body.

Artiste was Higgins.
Report thegiggilo June 17, 2015 2:21 AM BST

Movement on the shot was just exaggerated as he got older certainly was hardly doing it if at all in 72 love this break on a proper table with the old fashioned heavy balls a ton in 2m55 seconds..
Report Angel Gabrial June 17, 2015 8:45 AM BST
The movement was certainly connected to his emotional unbalance as he got older but he is still up on almost every shot even in his younger days but without the shoulder movement or leaning down the trajectory of the angle of the shot.

Strangely enough underneath the motion of Alex is the cue action of John Spencer. There is a real similarity of the two.
Report gentlemanjohn June 18, 2015 12:02 PM BST
Thanks for the vids ccd, the smash it up was great.

What i think i notice with Alex is the older he got the higher his head was lifted off the shot, early on it seems to be conventional head low, almost rested on the cue, while later he's an inch, maybe more, above it as he pushes the cue through. I just took it as something to do with nerves/alcohol/chain smoking or a combo of all three, nothing to do with technique, he could just not keep still on a shot.
Report thegiggilo June 21, 2015 2:45 AM BST

Love watching the old alex matches,the old biddy that crops up in numerous matches of his was great to see in her 70s
or 80s and you could see her excitement he gives her a kiss at the end of this match.Just realized recently as been watching that she appears in lots of his matches and always in the front row,quite unusual as the old biddys were usually davis fans.
Report thegiggilo June 21, 2015 2:45 AM BST

Love watching the old alex matches,the old biddy that crops up in numerous matches of his was great to see in her 70s
or 80s and you could see her excitement he gives her a kiss at the end of this match.Just realized recently as been watching that she appears in lots of his matches and always in the front row,quite unusual as the old biddys were usually davis fans.
Report thegiggilo June 21, 2015 3:14 AM BST

Wonder how many players would have the balls to play this shot I can't think of one player who would've risked this shot,actually stuns it as well to get it perfect!
Report thegiggilo June 24, 2015 1:31 AM BST

Snooker has a lot to answer for,when you see him in this interview and how much more weight he lost is criminal all because he couldn't get a set of teeth and couldn't eat.
Report ccd June 24, 2015 6:58 PM BST
Volume 6:
Running out of youtube footage now lol.
I have the email of a guy who may have some more footage. Watch this space :)
Report gentlemanjohn July 25, 2015 3:31 PM BST
Today is 5 years since Alex left us (or was it yesterday?). Was a Saturday anyway, I remember cos I was at a game when got txted the news and didn't give a fck about the rest of the match thereafter. Still miss the old rogue, but genius never forgotten.
Report thegiggilo August 4, 2015 3:15 AM BST
My all time sporting hero,if it wasn't for alex we'd be watching pot black maybe not even that!!ShockedAbsolute legend it's just ashame he hadn't been around 10-15 years later,after this years fiasco at the worlds you realize even more how much he is missed.Snookers just a game of clones now,very rarely entertaining and mostly spoilt brats given everything they want as youngsters,will never see the likes of alex or jimmy again that's where the rawness came from and made them so likeable and endearing they had nowt to start with..Cool
Report alun2005 August 5, 2015 11:17 PM BST
Enjoying your work to date CCD.  A very worthwhile undertaking. Alex was certainly my personal snooker hero for years before even I could finally take no more of his antics, and could no longer defend the indefensible in the late 80s and beyond. I still think Snooker treated him very shabbily at times, and his demise was tragic.   

One minor gripe…. the soundtrack….although a longtime Punk/New Wave man myself, I am not really a Damned man. Much more an obsessive fan of their former Stiff labelmates Elvis Costello and the Attractions, although they did have a fairly bizarre and forgettable go at 'Neat Neat Neat' once…

Good luck with the rest of the project.
Report gentlemanjohn August 6, 2015 6:39 PM BST
I suspect you may be right about never seeing the likes of Alex or Jimmy again gigg. There's no working men's clubs left anymore to produce players like that, playing snooker isnt a sign of a misspent youth as it once was. And as the players are too busy playing endless mickey mouse tournaments there's effectively no exhibition circuit anymore where they could hone their instincts to entertain (or in Dennis Taylor's case tell lots of terrible jokes). The good young players learn their trade in academies now, coached to the limit to be precise and methodical, all maverick streaks rinsed out of them early on. The Asian players all play the same way and are as boring as the next guy. We should count our blessings we've had Ronnie for 20 years and have Trump for another 20, because there's little enough else coming behind them.
Report thegiggilo August 9, 2015 3:13 AM BST
Report peckerdunne September 18, 2015 11:04 PM BST
Clones,   how very very true.............

The game is like watching paint dry..............

I remember as a kid practicing to try almost miss the cue ball but not......

I bet they dont teach that violence at the academy but it sure taught you about angles pace and side and running side and drag and so on..........

Thank you Alex.........
Report Graham Vs Green September 19, 2015 3:14 AM BST
I've got a bit of Alex & Jimmy on video doing an exhi at Bolton not long before he died.

He was painfully thin.  Brittle to the bone.

Awful to see him in such a bad way.
Report cooperman12 September 19, 2015 2:38 PM BST
You wont have Trump for the next 20 years because the game will be dead long before that. It's a victim of trends, people just don't have the patience for it anymore, my own theory is the players are too good, gone are the days of a clap for a fifty break, it's had its day and no Hearn magic is going to save it. Had to laugh watching a clip the other day of O'Sullivan v McManus in the Shanghai masters from last year, McManus gives away a four point foul before a red is potted, from there O'Sullivan commences his break with two blues, before he gets potting a few blacks, but due to the four point foul the scores are running at 147 levels. There's 9 reds down before that clown Joe Johnson and his fellow commentator realize their mistake, as they talk potential maximums together. It beggars belief two of them can't remember he started the break with two blues.
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