Heartbreak for Joe Swail at funeral of beloved dad
Belfast snooker star Joe Swail paid a poignant tribute to his father as he buried him yesterday.
Billy Swail died peacefully at Our Lady's Care Home surrounded by his family on Monday.
His sporting son shared a touching message on social media along with a picture of his late father.
"RIP Dad, you will be sorely missed but the memories will live on," he said.
Thanking fans for their support, he said that after missing a number of recent events due to the bereavement he hoped to return to the World Championships next month.
Yesterday's service took place at St Malachy's Church in Belfast before proceeding to Roselawn Crematorium.
A family notice described Mr Swail Sr as the beloved husband of the late Josephine, much loved father of Patrick, Sheila, Liam and Joe as well as a loving granda to all his grandchildren.
Nicknamed 'The Outlaw', Joe Swail joined forces in January with fellow Northern Ireland player and newly-crowned Masters Champion Mark Allen for an exhibition match to save the Trinity snooker club on the Shankill Road.
The club passed on their condolences yesterday: "Sorry for your loss Joe, all our thoughts and prayers are with you mate."
In December the 48-year-old spoke about how he intended to give his final few years on the professional circuit his all.
"I have been playing well and enjoying it and I've started to go back to basics over the last year-and-a-half," he said.
"I've been changing cues, taking inches off, putting it back on and changing my technique and trying all different kinds of things.
"I don't know why I'm doing it because I've only got a few years left on the pro circuit. I'm just going to go back to the way I play, it's a wonder why I'm trying to correct things!"