Pontefract’s Todd adds British crown to impressive list of honours

Pontefract's Sam Todd.
Pontefract's Sam Todd.

Outstanding 15-year-old Sam Todd won the British Under 17 Closed Championship at Nottingham University when he outclassed the field, winning all his matches 3-0.

In the semi-final the Pontefract Squash Club player beat Franklin Smith (Sussex) and in the final Ben Smith (Lincolnshire).

This was his 11th international and national title, which include two British Junior Opens, which are world class championships, two US Opens, a Dutch Open and a German Open.

His next two major junior events will be the British Under 15 Open in Birmingham in January and soon afterwards the Under 17 US Open.

This week, though, he will play his first professional event when he plays the long established Wimbledon Cup.

Todd became the first male English winner of a British Junior Open since James Willstrop 17 years previously, a proud record for Pontefract Squash Club.

There were other good performances in Nottingham from Joe Royle who finished fifth in Boys Under 13; sister Amy, seventh and Layla Johnson, sixth, both Under 15 Girls; and Jaspreet Kaur Nahal, semi-finalist in the Under 11 Girls.

Pontefract’s National League side lead their division after a 4-1 win over Bristol and a 3-2 win at Nottingham. Next Tuesday they take on recent additions to the league, Newcastle, at home.

Pontefract will field a very strong side; Willstrop, Chris Simpson, Over 35 World Champion Laurens Anjema, making his final appearance for the club before he takes up a coaching appointment in America, Patrick Rooney and Laura Massaro.

In the Yorkshire Premier League the first team go to Queen’s Halifax and the second team, led by Todd fresh from his national success, will be at home to Abbeydale.