Walter Albert Lindrum, OBE (29 August 1898 – 30 July 1960), often known as Wally Lindrum, was an Australian professional player of English billiards who held the World Professional Billiards Championship from 1933 until his retirement in 1950. He was named Walter Albert to have the initials of the state where he was born - W.A. (Western Australia). He was one of the most successful players ever seen in billiards, with 57 world records to his credit, some of which still stand. Lindrum is also considered amongst Australia's all-time greatest sportspeople.
In 1981 Lindrum was honoured on a postage stamp issued by Australia Post, which featured a caricature of him by famed artist Tony Rafty. Lindrum was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and the Western Australia Sporting Hall of Champions in 1985. His house in Melbourne at 158 Kerferd Road, Albert Park, is noted for its historical association with him by the Port Phillip Council.
In Melbourne, the Hotel Lindrum on Flinders Street has incorporated much memorabilia associated with Walter Lindrum. The building formerly housed the Lindrum's Billiard Centre run by Walter's niece, Dolly. One of the original tables from the Billiard Centre has been fully restored there by the original manufacturing company. In April 2009, the Hotel Lindrum hosted the Capital Cup, a billiards tournament that, on its 10th Anniversary, honoured the life and history of Walter Lindrum.
On 30 July 1960, at the age of 61, Walter Lindrum suddenly became ill and died while on holiday in Surfers Paradise, Queensland. The cause of death was officially listed as heart failure, but it has alternatively been suggested that he died as a result of food poisoning from a steak and kidney pie. His body was returned to Melbourne, and he was given a state funeral attended by 1,500 people. He was buried at Melbourne General Cemetery, with champion cyclist Sir Hubert Opperman raising the funds for a distinctive monument consisting of a billiards table, complete with balls and cue; more than fifty years after his death the site reportedly remains the most visited grave in this substantial cemetery.
It has been proposed to have a large collection of Lindrum memorabilia including personal and professional effects, newspaper clippings, diagrams of his shots, letters, and photographs moved to a special display in Australia's National Sports Museum.
This post is part of Julie's Taphophile Tragics meme.