The man they called snooker’s ‘gentleman’

KNOWN as “The gentleman of snooker” Patrick Greaney, lost his eight-year battle with Non Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 63.

The retired Inspector with West Yorkshire Police was a well known member of the Cliffe Hall Club and his Thursday evenings were spent at the club playing snooker with his friends, something that he looked forward to every week.

“He was also a valued team member for us at Cliffe Hall and known to everyone there and around the circuit as `The Gentleman of Snooker,” said leading player and committee member Brian Crawford.

“They even had a minute’s silence for him at the last snooker meeting at Rastrick Bowling and Social Club,” he said.

His wife of seven years, Pauline, who he met at work, said: “He loved going to play snooker for those few hours with his friends.”

Born in Croom, County Limerick in the Republic of Ireland, he came to Brighouse at the age of six with his parents, Rita and Patrick, and his brother Jim and his sister Mary.

Rita, Jim and Mary still live in Brighouse and Pat did until he moved to Fixby with Pauline 10 years ago.

Pat also leaves his son Paul, his wife Ruth and nine-year-old grand-daughter Iris.

“He will sadly miss the birth of his grandson in January. He was very much looking forward to meeting him but I know he will be looking down on him and sending his love,” said Pauline.

He attended St Bede’s School in Bradford and after leaving at the age of 15 went into a career in painting and decorating and would joke to Pauline every time they went past a building in Brighouse that he had painted it.

At 24 he joined the police, firstly in Halifax and then moving to Bradford and before retirement in Huddersfield.

He managed to fit in evening classes at Leeds University and gained a law degree with honours.

After he retired it gave him more time to go training and he would go to the gym at Halifax Police Station up to four times a week.

“He was very fit and very active and couldn’t sit still for one minute,” said Pauline

Diagnosed with Non Hodgkins lymphoma in November 2003, he received a short course of treatment but carried on with life as normal.

Non-Hodgkins lymphoma is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system.

Pat supported charities relating to the illness and at his funeral at St Joseph’s RC Church, Brighouse, and Huddersfield Crematorium the collection was for Lymphoma charities.

“The funeral was very well attended by our former colleagues at West Yorkshire Police and I know that those people will be there for me and Pat’s family. Pat always liked to help people and nothing was ever too much trouble for him,” said Pauline.

Through his marriage to Pauline he discovered a passion for travel and Spain became a second home to the couple through long holidays and short weekend breaks.

In retirement they found they also enjoyed cruises.

Just two weeks before he died at the end of October they set off on a cruise around the Mediterranean. and although he was not very well he did not want to let Pauline down.

They returned home on Friday October 28 and next day he was admitted to hospital.

Pat had a real zest and passion for life and he will be sadly missed.

Charlotte Henbest