Blast from the past: Rain drowns Proteas’ World Cup hopes in ...

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Blast from the past: Rain drowns Proteas’ World Cup hopes in Durban

Today in SA sports history: March 3

Sports reporter

Today in SA sports history: March 3

1985 — Snooker star Silvino Francisco, a 50-1 outsider with a world ranking of 17, wins the British Open Championship in Derby, beating Kirk Stevens of Canada 12-9 in the final and pocketing what was then a world record purse of £50,000 (R1m), which translated into R107,000 at the time. Francisco, then 38, was only the second man to be ranked outside the top 16 to win a major snooker crown. Francisco, who had relocated from Cape Town to England a few years earlier, learnt to play the game at the shop owned by his father Manuel, a fisherman who had immigrated from Portugal. There were two tables in the back where he would play each day after school. In 1997 Francisco was nabbed in Dover trying to smuggle 50kg of dagga in his sports car from Spain and was imprisoned for three years. 

1990 — Capetonian Eric Melville, who made his first-team debut as a lock for the Villagers club in 1982, becomes the first naturalised Frenchman from SA to play rugby for France. He came off the bench to play flank during France’s 31-12 victory over Ireland at Parc des Princes. He earned a total of six caps, two of them as eighthman. Melville’s regular teammates during his tenure at Villagers included Springboks Nick Mallett, scrumhalf Roy McCallum and prop Attie Strauss, as well as Springbok trialist Bossie Clarke...

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