Officials of Fylde’s Hospice have paid glowing tribute to snooker legend and prolific fund-raiser Harry Wyers.
Harry’s son Brian, who died of a brain tumour at just 29 in 1981, was the inspiration behind the building of Trinity – and Harry raised thousands of pounds for the Bispham-based Hospice from the outset, presenting cheques, most raised from snooker events, until shortly before his death in hospital at 93.
Brian was a patient of Dr David Cooper, who, with no specialist facilities on the Fylde coast at the time, was so moved by the fact that Brian had to be cared for in a hospice miles from home that he was determined to change things.
While Brian never got to see Trinity, which opened in 1986, a wing of the hospice in Low Moor Road was named after him.
Harry was a class one snooker referee, who held an international coaching licence as well as being a notable amateur player, with a string of triumphs to his name, including the Gazette and Walton Trophies.
He managed Blackpool’s old Commonwealth Sporting Club and shared the green baize with eight different world champions, including being the opponent for Steve Davis’s second maximum 147 break.
Harry took up the game at just 14 and earned the affectionate nickname ‘Joe 90’ for the fact that he made so many breaks just short of 100.
Daughter Sandra said: “He loved snooker and he loved raising money for Trinity. He faced many major players, was devoted to the game locally and played a big part in getting female players involved. He was playing up to just a few years ago.
“He never forgot what Dr Cooper did for Brian and was always determined to raise as much as he could for Trinity.“
Julie Huttley, matron at Trinity Hospice, who knew the family for many years, said: “We are so sad to hear of Harry’s death, just days after he presented us with a cheque for £1,000 towards patient care here at the hospice.
“His son Brian was the original inspiration for the founding of the Hospice in the Fylde, and the family have been supporting us in the background ever since those early days.
“One memory I have of Harry is that he used to live in Bispham, just across the road from the hospice, and one night accidentally locked himself out in the pouring rain. He came over here for help and ended up staying the night with us!
“Brian’s story was part of a film made specially for our 30th anniversary celebrations in 2016. His – and Harry’s – lives made a big difference to Trinity over more than three decades. Without the Wyers family, Trinity might not be here – it’s a wonderful and lasting legacy. I know Harry will be very much missed.”
Harry’s funeral is at Carleton Crematorium tomorrow at 10.30am.