We are all saddened to learn that our good friend, industry icon, Michael Green died last week at the age of 82.  David Snook said Michael is “one of the most famous names in the international amusement machine industry”. Michael will always be remembered for his sage advice, can do positive attitude, his special smile, and his passionate love for our industry, but most of all, his friendship.

Kevin Williams

“I have known Michael since first joining the amusement trade, and have 
been influenced by his actives spanning the major changes in the UK and 
international amusement scene; from manufacturing (when at SEGA) to 
operation (when at Family Leisure) – he was a respected perineal 
the personality of the sector and he will be sorely missed, marking a 
changing of the guard.”  

As reported by David Snook of InterGame, “Green, who two years ago celebrated 60 years in the industry, was well known right across the world as a sales personality with a number of companies and with at one time his own pool table manufacturing company. He had fought cancer for the past year, but succumbed this morning [June 14] in a London hospice, causing shock-waves across the industry, but most notably in the UK where he spent most of his working life.

Michael Green (front) with UDC’s Derek Horwood (left) and Mark Horwood, a photograph taken two years ago to celebrate Michael’s 60 years in the amusement game and FEC industry. Michael worked at UDC since 2003

“In recent years he was sales director at United Distributing Company, Derek and Mark Horwood’s London machine company, that went into a mourning lock-down today. Derek Horwood, who had known him for many, many years, commented: “Each of us grieves, not only at the passing of a tremendous individual and true gentleman but also for the loss his family suffers.

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“Next door is, of course, the offices of Electrocoin, where John Stergides was equally devastated by the news of Green’s passing. “I visited him yesterday and he was still smiling and looking forward to coming back to work,” he said. “We went back a long way together. We are all very, very upset.”

Said David Snook, a partner in InterGame: “I first met him in 1968, and I have deliberately used the words ‘one of the most famous names in the international amusement machine industry’ at the start of this news item because for once, it is really appropriate.

“Michael knew just about everyone and he was my first port of call when I was writing an obituary on one of our newly-passed friends. He had an encyclopedic memory for people, places, dates and more particularly in the close-knit coin-op family, who was related to whom and lots more family details.

“He was also a superb salesman who knew how to put a deal together without being unfair in any way or taking advantage of anyone. He also instinctively knew whether a new machine would be a winner or a dog. Michael was also a friend and one I shall sorely miss.”

Starting in 1954

He had a rich and colorful business life beginning in 1954 when he began operating juke-boxes in London and then moved into selling them.  His first company was Greenlea Automatics with just juke-boxes before he started operating fruit machines (AWPs) before they were actually legislated in the UK. He joined Phonographic Equipment and then the new PRW when Phonographic merged with Ruffler and Walker in the mid-1960s.

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Green became closely associated with the seaside amusement trade in the UK and the mainly traveling showmen who ran them, becoming personal friends with many of them. He also grew his connections across the Atlantic and in the Far East as the American and Japanese industries became more influential. He was a particular friend of Marty Bromley, who founded Sega.

Green became a manufacturer with Alca Electronics at the start of the pool table boom in partnership with Alan Carter and Geoff Ellis and became a principal supplier to the UK industry, moving on into the video games business with the first ping-pong games.

SegaBy the late 1980s the bottom was dropping out of the pool tables and video games market and Michael moved to the US to join US Billiards, then back to the UK to join Gerald Steinberg’s Joyland Amusements, then Taitel, Sega, then operating the big London arcades for Family Leisure, notably the Trocadero, before concluding his long and distinguished career with UDC.

Kevin Williams (KWP & The Stinger Report):
“I have known Michael since first joining the amusement trade, and have 
been influenced by his actives spanning the major changes in the UK and 
international amusement scene; from manufacturing (when at SEGA) to 
operation (when at Family Leisure) – he was a respected perineal 
the personality of the sector and he will be sorely missed, marking a 
changing of the guard.”  

Michael leaves his wife, Hilary, who was to become very well known throughout the industry, and two daughters by a previous marriage.

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Details of the funeral are not yet known, but InterGame will report the arrangements as soon as they become known.

What this could mean? With the passing of Michael, our industry loses 65 years of its historical knowledge. Michael was involved in every aspect of the industry. He was the first person who took me under his wing when I went to my first ATEI Expo at Earls Court in London in the 1990s. Up until just a few weeks ago, Michael would send me interesting articles about our industry as well as politics with his sage comments (including jokes and cartoons).  His sense of humor was incredible, along with his style of English writing.

Michael took note that I had worked with Elaut many years ago to develop the Knock It Off Rotary. He asked me to help him develop and work with Elaut to make a prototype which was called the ‘Tower of Tickets’. Michael was the driving force for this game coming to market (BayTek). Michael was also the driving force for me to first speak at ATEI and later at EAG and then bring Foundations Entertainment University to London.  Yes, it was always Michael who opened doors. Michael was a ‘brother’. Us old timers will continue his legacy and always try to help others find their way in this great industry of ours!