In the final the Sharpshooters beat the Lions De Lyon. Only five of the twelve players had a shot two Americans and two French players had made no score as the third member of the Sharpshooters came to the edge of the ring. Travis Cherry walked around the ring, took up his position and laid into the pack, in a very short time he moved away from the ring to the cheers of the crowd after making a wonderful break of 37 marbles, which gave him and his team the match.
Even this score was not the biggest break of the day, both Ray Jarrell of the Marble King and Jack Tinsley captain of the Sharpshooters beat it with breaks of 41 marbles. The winner of the Individuals for the second year in succession was Darren Ray.
After the main event there was an International Competition with six teams taking part two each from America and Britain plus Holland and France. Each team played five matches. The Sharpshooters came out on top winning all their games; equal second with three wins each were Marble King and the Union Jacks.
The International Final was broadcast live on CNN throughout the United States and repeated throughout the following week, and the winning team from Tennessee were so proud of themselves that they wore their medals for the entire remainder of their visit!!
On a day trip to London a lady congratulating them – she was an American and had been told on the phone by someone at home about the champion marble team and recognised them from their jackets. This caused them great delight and showed how the fame of our tournament is spreading worldwide. The players also had a quick game outside St. Paul’s Cathedral, while their wives phoned home from a callbox so that their families could hear the peal of bells.
A visit to Brighton beach for a fish and chip supper was a great success and Junior B. Strong carried away a fine pile of rocks to take home to make into shooters.
We also took the team and our other guests to the House of Marbles in Devon, where they saw the Mini Museum, watched marbles being made and collected a lot of souvenirs.
Their eventual departure from Gatwick was a sight to see, with every player wearing a medal, clutching a trophy of some description and dragging a case weighed down with Brighton rock – this however was nothing to the heroes’ welcome they received on their return. After being met by a posse of pressmen at Atlanta, they faced further film crews and photographers at Nashville airport and were met 20 miles from home by a police escort, which led them home in procession to a mini victory parade.
What also made this such a memorable event was not only the many overseas teams but the host of people from the world of marbles. Rosalie and Bert Cohen, marble expert from Boston, Bobby Faulcher, Folklorist and song collector from Tennessee, Beri Fox, who is the daughter of the late Rodger Howdyshell owner of the Marble King factory in West Virginia and now (2004) Director of the National Marbles Tournament, Wildwood NJ, Cathy Runyan known as the Marble Lady, Helen Mohr The marble queen of Perry Hall, Tom (the mighty) Quinn former NYC champion and Michael Cohill