Top Player Wade Crane Killed in Car Accident

December 26, 2010 · 21 Comments

Friend and fellow player Mary Kenniston in a recent photo with Wade Crane.

Legendary pool player Wade Crane was killed in a car accident in Knoxville, Tennessee on Christmas Day. Wade, aka Billy Johnson and nicknamed "Boom Boom" was a former 8 and 9-Ball champion, voted by his peers to have the best 9-Ball break in history.

In the 80s he shot a perfect Accustats score, the first and only player to ever do so in competition (he won that event, the Resorts International 9-Ball Championship in Atlantic City, NJ).

Wade was a frequent contributor to Pool & Billiard Magazine and most recently was a player rep for the new Accurak. In fact, Wade is featured in the January issue of P&B in this month's Shark Bytes.

Wade Crane will be truly missed by so many in the pool world -- our best wishes go out to all Wade's family and friends...

Wade at the 2010 Super Billiards Expo in March


21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Aaron Berg // Dec 26, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    What a truly sad day to see such a legend pass in such a tragic way especially during the holidays. I really hope there is an event next Christmas commemorating this fine, respectable person in life and to the billiard community.
  • 2 John K. Morris // Dec 26, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    The pool world has lost another great champion and I have lost another great friend. Wade Crane met an untimely death
    Christmas day in a car wreck. Details are
    sketchy, but rumor has it that it happened
    here in Knoxville, Tennessee. I do know this for sure, Wade was one of the greatest guys
    and pool players who ever lived. And he leaves a huge void in the pool world. RIP
    my friend. John K. Morris
  • 3 Gregg Green // Dec 26, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    The pool and billiard world is a very small community so when one of us meet tragedy, we all meet tragedy. We at Billiards International Corp. (B.I.C.) wishes your family well and you have our condolences.

    Gregg Green
  • 4 Jennie and Keith McCready // Dec 27, 2010 at 6:49 AM

    What a sad day in the pool world. Wade Crane did it all. He was a road player, a tournament soldier, a pool journalist, and an instructional teacher. RIP, Wade "Billy Johnson" Crane. You will be missed but never forgotten.
  • 5 Anthony Morgan // Dec 27, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    Wade was one of the nicest person and one of the best friends you could ever have,stayed with him down in Texas for a few days,Rest in Peace my friend
  • 6 Barbara Disotell // Dec 27, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Our deepest sympathies to The Wade Crane Family .From Rack-Em-Up Billiards in Cornwall Ontario Canada
  • 7 Tom Shaw // Dec 27, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    What a shock. A heck of a nice guy, full of good stories and great adventures, a friend to everyone he met within minutes of meeting them, overflowing with knowledge about the sport and players and always wonderful to be around. And an outstanding player, to boot. We'll miss him.
  • 8 John Disque // Dec 27, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    To Billy's family and friends...... - I am very sorry to hear this news.
    He will always be very respected in the pool community. He was always a complete gentleman and he leaves behind a lot of great memories.
    Many years ago I would sit and Comers in Knoxville and watch him play. Then I'd do my best to emulate his style, class and demeanor.
    He'll be missed.
  • 9 Richard Penny // Dec 27, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    I had the fortunate pleasure to first meet Mr. Crane at Fast Eddie's Billiards in Goldsboro, NC a couple years ago. He gave me some pointers on breaking and was a gentleman. He will be missed!
  • 10 Dean Ragland // Dec 27, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    I've know Wade for about 20 years. We would always travel together and share a room at the Derby City Classic. I enjoyed all the great stories he shared with me about his road playing days; the other legendary pool players he had competed against and a great friendship that I was fortunate to share with him. I will miss him. Godspeed Wade Crane...
  • 11 Kay Higgins // Dec 28, 2010 at 6:25 AM

    He will be missed and he was such a nice person. I only had the pleasure of meeting him a few time but he always welcomed meeting and talking to people. Our community of pool is small and a loss like this does effect everyone. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and everyone else.
  • 12 CJ Wiley // Dec 28, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Wade has always been one of my all time favorite players and a great friend. I just visited him at his home a few months ago and enjoyed the time he lived in Dallas and hung out at CJ's with all the great players. His sense of humor and outlook on life was a pleasure to be around and I will ALWAYS remember him as a great champion AND a great man. Rest in Peace Wade...God Bless You and Yours;0)
  • 13 Billy Johnson Fan // Dec 30, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    In lieu of flowers, family is requesting help with Wade's last expenses. The funeral home has requested a family member take over, since the body has not been released to the funeral home. Kay Nuchols, is Wade's sister and her name was left in his last will and testament for the arrangements, an account has been set up in her name for her to deposit the money and use it for his expenses. Please write checks or money orders to Kay Nuchols and PLEASE on the reference line on the check for write : Wade Crane's memorial or last expenses. Send to P.O. Box 1539, Robbinsville, NC 28771.

    Thank you in advance for all your support and kind words.
  • 14 Debbie Gibson // Dec 30, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    I first met Wade as Billy Johnson in Gautier Ms. in the 1970s. We became friends and remained so for all the years to follow. He will be truly missed. He was always a true Gentleman to me. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers in your time of sadness.
  • 15 Cindy Cole-Parvala // Jan 1, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Most of us would agree that the days we spent in pool halls were certainly the best days of our lives. It was in the each pool hall that we made our first friends, competed to excel, hoped to place in each tournament, and learned our first lessons about life. To sit back and watch Wade play or read articles was a testimony of his happy life in the pool world and friends he made all around the world. He will be greatly missed.
  • 16 Dedra Lowry Bridges // Jan 13, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    My husband Tony Bridges is Wade's nephew. We have only been married 3 years. I never met Wade, but I did get to talk to him 2 years ago on the phone when he had called my husband. My husband always had good things to say about his uncle Wade, he truly admired him. On behalf of my husband I thank everyone for their thoughtful comments. He will truly be missed.
  • 17 Carol D. // Apr 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Sad news indeed. He was a great man. Surely, he will be missed. My deepest condolences to the family of the deceased.
  • 18 Wendy // May 24, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    I met him for the first time in 1988 in Knoxville. I had never even heard of One Pocket until then. He taught me the game and I was hooked for life. What a gentleman...patient, kind. He will be sorely missed. RIP
  • 19 mike kelly // Jul 13, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    goodbye my old friend,i first met wade in my hometown of sanford,n.c. in 1976,but we got real close the last 10 years of his life.we've lost a true billiard legend and good person.i'll miss you very much wade,Godbless you my friend!!!
  • 20 Chip Roberson // Dec 13, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    I didn't learn of Wade's death until today so forgive me for posting late. I met Billy (As I knew him) back in the late 70's--back when the road was a tough place to be. He took the time to work with me back then, when I was young--he taught me a lot of things about myself and the game of pool--he was and will always be a class act. The pool world lost a true champion with the passing of Wade Crane.
  • 21 Andi Smidth // Jul 31, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    The husband always watched his games. He surely will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I'd suggest for his family to visit as it really helped me get through the loss of a loved one.

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