His many friends throughout the North-West green baize fraternity will be saddened to learn of the death of Marcus Dickson (Garvagh), who passed away on Monday, July 30th (two days after his 84th birthday).
A life-long participant in billiards and snooker, Marcus was a player of considerable talent in both codes. He made his competitive debut with Garvagh in 1945 - Mid-Antrim League - and five years later came his first sighting on the North-West circuit via the 1950 Senior Billiards Championship.
A sporadic competitor on the North-West scene for most of his career, his best years arrived in the 1980s, having reached two high-profile championship finals in 198l. Runner-up in the senior billiards, he also had to settle for the minor honours in the snooker pairs.
In 1981, he figured prominently on the Senior Snooker Championship (semi-finalist), as well as picking up a Premier League winners medal as player manager of the victorious Garvagh team.
After a sabbatical lasting some 15 years, Marcus returned to the North-West arena in the late 1990s and showed he had still retained plenty of his billiards ability by again finishing second in the Senior Championship (2004).
A regular competitor in the veterans’ code since the turn of the Millennium, he was crowned billiards champion in 2002, the same year in which he collected a Veterans’ Snooker League winners medal as a key member of Limavady’s triumphant team.
He regained the billiards title in 2010 and thus created a longevity record as the oldest ever player to engrave his name on the roll-call of North-West Championship winners (81).
The basically shy and quietly spoken Garvagh cueist was one of the true gentlemen of the green baize, that’s for sure, and his passing will be greatly mourned by many friends, but most of all by his wife Audrey, daughters Erica, Allison and Carolyn, to whom sincere condolences are extended.
May he rest in peace.