MEMORIALS are being planned after the sudden death of one of the finest snooker players Stourbridge has ever produced.

Kev Franklin was also a dedicated local official of the sport and tributes have flooded in after his death at his Oldswinford home earlier this month at the age of 55.

Fundraising pages have been set up to buy a plaque in his honour at Stourbridge Institute, where he was a life member.

There are also plans to buy a trophy for a memorial competition in the Stourbridge Snooker League.

For the last 23 years Mr Franklin had been Assistant Secretary of the Stourbridge & District Snooker League following three years as the Inter-League Secretary.

League Secretary Tony Kidd said: “Over 35 years, Kev proved to be one of the finest players the league has ever seen, winning six Premier Division individual titles.

“Eleven years ago the Individual Handicap was introduced, and Kev lifted that trophy six times in 8 years, and added the Over 45 Handicap Cup three times.”

He made ten century breaks, including efforts of 124, 124 and 123, and in the neighbouring Halesowen League, where he had most wins on three occasions and he also recorded five centuries.

“Possibly his finest achievement was when he defeated Eddie Cooper 5-1 to become Midland Amateur Champion in 1996. Four years later, Kev reached the final again but lost out to his good friend, Alan Hooper of Brandhall Labour.

“Kev would give his time freely to anyone who sought advice, exemplified shortly afterwards by the audience he afforded a teenage Mark Selby at Willie Thorne’s Club at Leicester, who was somewhat in awe of the new amateur champion. Twenty years later in January 2018, the kindness would be repaid when Selby came to Stourbridge Institute as world champion to give an exhibition against club members during which he made a 147 maximum break.

“In the final frame of the evening, Kev made a break of 50 before Selby cleared to win, with the aid of a fortunate brown. Kev almost forgave him his lucky moment! Almost!”

Mr Franklin, a former postman, leaves a wife, Ruth, and children, Alex and Hannah.