7 Best Snooker Players in South Africa: A Historical Perspective

Pink Hilliker

Snooker is a popular sport in South Africa that has produced a number of talented players. South African players have made a name for themselves in the international snooker scene, with some of them becoming world-famous stars.

We’ll take a look at some of the best snooker players in South Africa. From world-championship winners to up-and-coming stars, these top players are sure to impress.

So, if you’re a snooker fan, you won’t want to miss out on learning more about these South African snooker stars.

1. Perrie Mans

Pierre “Perrie” Mans was a highly accomplished South African professional snooker player. He began his snooker career by winning the South African Professional Championship in 1965 and went on to repeat that success by lifting the title an impressive 20 times.

Mans’ career was highlighted in 1979 when he won the prestigious Benson & Hedges Masters. Furthermore, he reached the final of the World Championship in 1978, demonstrating his prowess in the sport.

His accomplishments have earned him a place in South African snooker history as one of the greatest players of all time.

2. Peter Mans

Peter Mans was a South African professional snooker player who made history by becoming the first South African Professional Champion. Between the years of 1948 and 1950, Mans held the title of South African Professional Champion in a competitive challenge basis.

This was a major milestone for South African snooker as Mans was the first South African to win this title and win a major international snooker championship. Mans’ success in the snooker world was a major accomplishment for South African sports overall.

His winning of the South African Professional Championship not only showed his skill and dedication to the sport but also showed the potential of South African athletes in the sport.

This achievement motivated other South African snooker players to strive for similar success and also encouraged the growth of the sport in the country. Mans’ legacy in the sport of snooker has lived on since his victory in 1950.

His success paved the way for more South African snooker players to follow in his footsteps and achieve international success.

His legacy as the first South African Professional Champion has been a major source of pride and inspiration for generations of South African snooker players.

3. Jimmy van Rensberg

Jimmy van Rensberg is a South African snooker player who achieved a great deal of success in his career. He was a professional player for many years and won the South African Professional Championship in 1984.

He was also an incredibly accomplished amateur player, having been a record twelve-time winner of the South African Amateur Championship.

His impressive skill and consistent success in the sport earned him the admiration of snooker fans all over the world. Jimmy van Rensberg was born in South Africa and developed a love for snooker at a very young age.

He quickly established himself as a talented player and went on to become a professional player in the early 80s. He was successful in the professional circuit, winning the South African Professional Championship in 1984.

However, it was in the amateur circuit where van Rensberg really made his mark. He won the South African Amateur Championship a record twelve times, showing his consistency and dominance in the sport.

His impressive achievements in the amateur circuit earned him a great deal of respect from fellow snooker players and fans. Jimmy van Rensberg is one of the most renowned snooker players from South Africa and is remembered fondly by many.

He achieved a great deal of success in his career, winning the South African Professional Championship and setting a record for the South African Amateur Championship. His accomplishments have earned him a place in the hearts of snooker fans all over the world.

4. Mike Hines

Mike Hines is a former professional snooker player who hails from South Africa. He was a professional snooker player during the late 1980s and early 1990s. During his career, Mike was able to win numerous titles and was known as one of the best players from his region.

He was a consistent performer on the tour and made it to the quarter-finals of the World Championship in 1990.

Mike was a fan favorite due to his unique style of play, which was characterized by his explosive break-building and the ability to make important shots when it mattered the most. He was also known for his tactical knowledge and his ability to make deep clearances.

His style of play was admired by his peers, and he was seen as a role model for many aspiring snooker players. Despite his success on the tour, Mike’s career was unfortunately cut short due to a recurring shoulder injury.

He was forced to retire in 1994, after a twenty-year career in the sport. Despite his retirement, Mike is still remembered fondly by snooker fans around the world as one of the greats of the game.

5. Robbie Grace

Robbie Grace was a professional snooker player who hailed from South Africa. He rose to fame in the snooker world, becoming one of the top players in the country. Grace represented South Africa in the World Championship of Snooker in the early 2000s, placing in the top 10.

He also became one of the first South African players to compete in the prestigious UK Championship.

Grace’s career was marked by several memorable victories, including a win against two-time world champion Stephen Hendry. In addition to his successes on the snooker table, Grace was also a successful coach.

He worked with many of South Africa’s top amateur players, helping them to develop their skills and reach new levels of success.

He was renowned for his ability to nurture and encourage young players, and he was credited with helping to develop South African snooker talent. After retiring from professional snooker, Robbie Grace continued to be involved in the sport.

He worked as a commentator for some of South Africa’s most prestigious snooker tournaments, including the South African Masters. He also served as a mentor for some of the country’s up-and-coming players.

Grace’s passion for the game and dedication to helping his fellow South African players was unparalleled.

6. Fred Van Rensburg

Freddie van Rensburg was a highly accomplished South African snooker player. He was born in the city of Johannesburg and began playing snooker at a young age. He soon became one of the most talented players in the country and his reputation spread around the world.

He competed in many tournaments and was considered one of the best snooker players in the world. His career spanned over two decades and he won several tournaments, including the South African Masters and the African Open.

He was also part of the South African National team for a number of years. Freddie was a true snooker legend and an inspiration to many aspiring players. He was an active member of the South African Snooker Association and was a great ambassador for the sport.

He will be remembered as one of the greatest snooker players in South African history.

7. Manuel Francisco

Manuel Francisco was a South African snooker and billiards player who had an impressive career. He was born in 1936 and sadly passed away in 2020, aged 84.

During his lifetime, he achieved great success in the sport of snooker, winning the South African Amateur Snooker Championship a total of 6 times. Coming from a family with a passion for snooker, Manuel Francisco was able to hone his skills from a young age.

He was known for his impressive technique and mastery of the game, which allowed him to rise to the top of his field. His talent and dedication to the sport helped him to become one of the most renowned players in South Africa.

Manuel Francisco’s achievements and legacy in the world of snooker will not soon be forgotten. He was an inspiration to aspiring players, and his success in the sport is an example of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication.

His contribution to the game of snooker will continue to be remembered for many years to come.


South Africa has produced some excellent snooker players over the years. Players like Rodney Goggins, Shaun Murphy, and Chris Swanepoel have shown that South African snooker players can compete with the best in the world.

These players have won several major titles and have made South Africa proud. With the continuing development of snooker in South Africa, the future of the sport looks bright and we can expect to see more great snooker players from South Africa in the future.

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Pink Hilliker

I am a professional pool player and have been playing for over 20 years. I am passionate about the game, and I love helping people learn how to play both in person and online. I believe that everyone should be able to enjoy pool, no matter how old or young they are. It is my goal to teach people the basics of the game in a fun way so that they can start playing right away. LinkedIn