Snooker champion Dennis on cue with PPA

A former world snooker champion is the guest speaker at an annual charity dinner being held by the voice of property for the Portsmouth region.

Dennis Taylor famously beat the world number one, Steve Davis, when he potted the final black in the 1985 World Championship cliff-hanger.

The BBC snooker commentator provides an entertaining insight into the sport for members of Portsmouth Property Association (PPA) tomorrow (FRIDAY) at Fratton Park, home to Portsmouth FC. (members pictured here at a previous event).

Another top-table guest at the black-tie event is Waterlooville mother Lorraine Blackburn from Ickle Pickles, a charity which helps fund specialised equipment, such as incubators and ventilators, for premature babies in intensive care neonatal units.

Lorraine’s son Owen lost his fight for life after three months in September 2009, having been born at 26 weeks and weighing just 1Ib 10oz – equivalent to a bag of sugar.

Danny Smith, the PPA chairman, chose Ickle Pickles as the nominated charity for his year-long tenure.

In acknowledgement of the brilliant work of the neonatal staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, the PPA has invited ten of them along as VIP guests.

Mr Taylor is standing in for former Saints star Matt Le Tissier, who sustained collar bone and ankle injuries during a charity five-a-side football tournament.

PPA secretary Neil Hawkins said: “Many of our older members will remember Dennis in his heyday and know he has plenty of good stories to regale us with.

“‘It is decent of Dennis to cover for Matt at short notice – we wish Matt a speedy recovery.”

PPA has more than 140 members, including estate, lettings and property management agents, commercial property agents, chartered surveyors, developers, accountants, solicitors and bankers.

Other top-table guests at the event are the Lord Mayor Councillor Steven Wylie, Clive Emson, the chairman of regional land and property auctioneers Clive Emson, Mark Waldron, the editor of The News, Alan Cufley, head of corporate assets, business and standards, Portsmouth City Council, Verisona Law directors Mike Dyer and Susan Ball, Lucy Richmond, the chair of Southampton Property Association, and Ron Wain from press office specialist Deep South Media.

The PPA was established in 1920, when King George V reigned, Lloyd George was Prime Minister and the body of The Unknown Warrior from the First World War arrived from France for symbolic burial in Westminster Abbey.