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World title champ, returns to his humble beginnings

World’s fastest man on a Billiard Table, Clearing and Jump Potting all 15 balls in 11.29 seconds. The only Pro Pool Player in world history to be portrayed on a National Post Office Stamp in Macau, in the year 2018.
 |  The Informer  | 

He was Royce Lane back then. Fast forward half a century, and now he is widely known on the world Cue Sports Stage, as Rocky Lane, Cue Sports Icon and holder of two World Titles.

Rocky was a pupil at the Whenuakite  School from 1954 to 1960. His father was a share milker on a farm near Hot Water Beach. Farm life as part of a family of seven children was a positive experience for Rocky. “It was rather like the Waltons,” (TV show), as Rocky describes it.

Last Tuesday, accompanied by The Informer, Rocky was welcomed to this school by its new headmaster, Gary Veysi. It was a thrilling morning for pupils and visitors alike. Rocky has achieved world fame as a Cue Sports Icon. Representing Macau, Rocky achieved his unmatched achievements at Nine-ball Pool Tournaments around the globe – Asia (where he lived for 34 years), America, Europe, China and even in Russia.

It’s hard to take in all of his achievements, when reading down the list seen on his Players Profile  www.rockylane.org.

Rocky Lane is the World’s Fastest Man on a Billiard or Pool table and the all-time champ in Speed Shooting in the sport of Pool. They even held tournaments in his own name; the Rocky Lane Nine – ball Cup in Macau in 2016 and 2017.

He relocated from New Zealand to Asia in 1989 when sponsored on a world tour. From Asia it was more central to play on a world tour.

Rocky could play in European tournaments on one side and in the American tournaments on the other, as well as in Asian tours. He even got to play in the Kremlin Cup in Russia. “New Zealand was too far off the beaten track for world level tours and tournaments. Sponsors seemed to lack interest in far away New Zealand,” Rocky said.

He was sponsored by Air Macau offering Business Class travel to all tournaments. Now in his mid 70’s, Rocky says, “It’s time to slow down and retire, and there is no better place to do it, than my hometown, Whitianga.”

The Whenuakite School looked very different to when Rocky attended the school in the 50s. It was much smaller, centred around a church-like building with a bell, used to muster the children back to class. However, the swimming pool is now in the same place.

Rocky remembers it well as his late dad helped to excavate for the pool with other local men as part of a community working bee.

“It was dug by hand, with pick and shovel,” says Rocky, “as none of the farming community had a machine digger. It took a lot of effort, and the project was paused for a while as funding run short.

Rocky returns to former school

So, my tenacious Dad organised a raffle to raise enough to enable completion of the job. And yet, the pool is still there today,” Rocky smiles.

“The reason the swimming pool is only three feet deep is simply because there were no machine diggers to dig deeper. But thanks to my Dad, taking that final relay baton, the pool was successfully finished and because it was made of solid concrete floors and walls, is still why it is still operating today, 70 years later,” adds Rocky.  After Rocky and his wife, (Mrs. Addie Lane) finished their presentation, a class of older students and their teacher responded with the Haka so perfectly.

Addressing the students, Rocky shared some of his memories of the school before talking on the subject of achieving your dreams. “Dreams are free. They cost nothing; so follow them and never lose sight of them,” Rocky said. The class listened with rapt attention. Mrs. Lane, who is a registered teacher, shared something of Rocky’s story since leaving the Whenuakite School. She encouraged the pupils with two things – the importance of a dream, and then focusing on that dream, never losing site of it and striving to achieve it.

The impact of having this world-famous Cue Sportsman, who, like them, was a student of the Whenuakite school, was clear. To say the pupils were ‘all ears’ is an understatement.

Their time concluded with presenting to the school some Rocky Lane posters for the class and school notice board, duly autographed by the Champ.

Rocky and Addie, now look forward to a peaceful retirement in Rocky’s hometown of Whitianga.

Rocky concluded with his renowned slogan, “Shoot Pool, Stay Cool, but Do School.”