TWO York pubs are teaming up to try to revive local interest in one of England’s historic bar-room games.

The Phoenix in George Street and The Golden Ball in Bishophill hope to host a local bar billiards league, to increase the number of people playing the game and to safeguard its future.

Bar billiards is relatively rare in the north, with the All England Bar Billiards Association recording only five tables in use in North Yorkshire, and The Phoenix and Golden Ball having the only two currently in use in York.

Mike Shallcross, a regular at The Golden Ball, has appealed for other players to come forward and hopes to set up a league if there is enough demand.

He also plans to organise monthly derby matches between teams from the two pubs.

He said: “We have had a good response to it from locals, but it would be good if we could find some people who do not normally play.

“It’s still a very popular game in the south of England, but in the north it is petering out. There used to be tables all over the place.”

Jon Fulton, manager of The Phoenix, said: “We have been meaning to get something going for a while and this should be a good idea. It is an old English game and it would be good to bring it back.”

To sign up to the league or for more information, email or tweet @yorkbarbilliard or leave your name and phone number behind the bar of either pub.

Players of all abilities are welcome.