Early Life of Michael Joseph Ferreira
He started to play the game when he was in his last year at St. Joseph's School in Darjeeling in 1953, in the state of West Bengal, and continued playing the game seriously. While studying at St. Xavier's Collegeand the Government Law College in Mumbai, he decided to make the game his career. He started his career in the year of 1960 in the National Billiards Championships. Three years later, he compiled his first break of 300 in the 1963 Nationals in Bengaluru, but he lost in the final to his mentor Wilson Jones.
Career of Michael Joseph Ferreira
Michael Joseph Ferreira set a world record of 629 at the World Amateur Meet held in London in 1969. However, he was held back by Satish Mohan for quite some time to fulfil his ambition to dominate the national scene. This great rivalry between them brought out the best in both the players until 1970 after which Ferreira clearly grew on the ascendant. The billiards legend now holds the record for winning the National title the maximum number of times - seven.
Michael Joseph Ferreira participated in the World Amateur Billiards Championship in New Zealand in 1964 as a representative of India. He created a sensation with his very first appearance. He excelled throughout the tournament and lost a very close match in the semi-finals by a mere 6 points. He won his maiden World Amateur Billiards Championship title in the year of 1977 competing with all the top stars of the world. In the very same year he won the World Open Billiards Championship title at the same venue-Christchurch. By winning this he completed a unique Double. He has two more World Billiard Championship titles under his belt that set his tally of World Championships at 4. In 1978, he broke the World Record of 1000 points in the National Billiards Championships, becoming the first amateur to do so. He later broke his own record, scoring 1149 points. In addition, he set up 16 word records throughout his career including breaks of 1149, 995 and 986. The first two breaks were acknowledged in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Michael Joseph Ferreira was not only a great player; but also fought for equal treatment in sports in India. His rebellious trait came to the forefront in 1981 when he refused to accept the Padma Shri award presented to him after he won his second world title. He did so in order to protest against the common practice in India of giving cricket prominence over other sports. He stated very strongly that his achievements in billiards were not in any way less than that of Sunil Gavaskar in Indian Cricket. Anyway, Michael Joseph Ferreira was indeed a great Billiard player of all time and he is still remembered for his strong opinions on behalf of the equal treatment in sports in India.
Awards and Honours Received by Michael Joseph Ferreira
With his sublime artistry, Michael Joseph Ferreira became the No.13 in world ranking. He continued to perform superbly in the 70s and the 80s. The Government of India honoured his achievement; making him the only billiards player so far to be awarded the 'Padma Bhushan' award, the third highest civilian award in the country. He is also the recipient of the 'Shiv Chhatrapati Award' in 1971 from the Maharashtra Government. He received the 'Arjuna Award' in the year of 1973 and 'Fair Play Award' by the International Olympic Committee in 1983. Not only this, his extraordinary performance also gave a boost to the three-ball game of Billiards in India and encouraged youngsters like Geet Sethi to shine in the international arena. In the year 2001 received the prestigious Dronacharya Award for his achievements in billiards and snooker coaching.
Presently he is actively associated with a multi-level marketing company- "Qnet", under the team "FAITH".