Graham Cripsey

Graham Cripsey (born 8 December 1954) is a former professional snooker player and Wall of death rider. He turned pro as a snooker player aged 27 and was active as a professional From 1982 to 1996.

Early lifeEdit

Cripsey came from a family of showmen who have been running a ‘Wall of death’ since the 1920s, a round wall for motorcycle tricks in their hometown of Skegness.[1][2] At age 12, he himself became banked driver. He lost a thumb in a riding accident.[3]

Snooker careerEdit

Cripsey was the first player to be coached by Derek Hill - known as Big Del. Hill discovered Ronnie O'Sullivan in the early 1990s and was the coached many top players, such as Graeme Dott.[4]

Cripsey began his career at the professional tournaments in the 1982–83 season and reached the 1983 World Snooker Championship following a win over Dennis Hughes during the round of the last 48. In 1984-85 he reached the second round at the International Open and the UK Championship . He was then ranked 89th in the world rankings. In the 1985–86 season he twice reached the last 32, in the Classic and in the UK Championship, in Cliff Wilson and John Spencer he beat two players from the top 24 in the world rankings. In 1987, Bill Werbeniuk was defeated at the British Open in the last 32. By this point his ranking had risen to 48th place. In the season 1987-88 the Englishman achieved his biggest ranking success: There was also another round of the last 32 at the British Open. Although he still ranked 46th in the ranking, he had shown victories over Barry West and Eugene Hughes that he could compete with top 32 players. The 1988-89 started badly but The Classic stood out again, after a victory over Steve Longworth , he was once again in the last 32.

Cripsey was no longer in the top 64 world rankings by 1990. In a tournament with a special format, the snooker shoot-out in which a single frame was played he achieved his best professional result. He reached the quarter-finals and then lost just with 62:66 against Alan McManus he also slipped out of the top 100. In 1991 the professional tour was opened for everyone. Although he was able to remain professional, but had to play preliminary rounds, before the last 128. Overall he won only 4 games in the year. At the Asian Open he played against Sean Storey . Although his opponent conceded 13 consecutive Cripsey lost the frame 92–93.[5] With 185 points scored in a frame, they set a new record.[6] Cripsey lost the match 1–5.

The following year, Cripsey managed only one victory in a minor-ranking tournament, where there were hardly any ranking points, and so he fell from the top 128. In 1993/94 he therefore had to play more pre-qualifying rounds. He did not come reach the last 128 once. The following year he played only two tournaments and in 1995-96 only the pre-qualification of the World Snooker Championship. After that, he gave up the professional tournaments at the age of 41 years.

Later careerEdit

During his snooker career, he gave up the family business, but by the mid-90s he had returned to it. In 2004 he gave up the steep wall for reasons of age and lack of successors.[7]


  1. ^ Ben Tate (28 March 2013). "1997 Top Gear, Wall Of Death, Classic Hearse Register" – via YouTube.
  2. ^ "Wall of Death Graham Cripsey Joins Father". 5 May 2010.
  3. ^ "SNOOKER: Meet Del Hill, the relative unknown behind greats like Ronnie O'Sullivan and Stephen Hendry".
  4. ^ "Snookered players turn to Hill".
  5. ^ " Liverpool Victoria UK Championship 1997".
  6. ^ "Snooker – Malta Cup: Tony Drago Featured five times in list of major records - The Malta Independent".
  7. ^ "The gear box". 3 September 2004 – via