Post a reply

How did you get into snooker?

Postby Badsnookerplayer

Hi,

As there is a short break before proper snooker starts, I thought I would ask the question as I am interested to hear your stories.

My first memories of snooker are watching on telly around 1980. I can't remember who or what tournament it was but I suspect it was the 1980 WC as I remember my dad kicking off as it was interrupted by the Iranian Embassy siege.

My first taste of a snooker hall was at a working men's club where my dad played. It was serious stuff. You put your name up, put your 10p in the meter and woe betide you if you made noise or broke etiquette. I was not allowed on the table at first but I remember it being like a shrine with the rituals of ironing, brushing and covering taking place with solemnity. Later, if they had a lock-in I was allowed on the table with just the colours.


Then when I was about 14 I was taken to the Priory Club (or Alf's). This was a proper snooker club but had not been touched since the 1930s. Snooker cases (Full length and metal) hung from ropes and were all padlocked, although Dad told me that there used to be chalk hanging from the ceiling. That was gone. £1 per hour and 20p for a cup of tea. The buzz in there was incredible - hushed but fiercely competitive. I was playing at last and I was hooked.

I grew up in Hastings and the standard in the leagues was high. A few names long forgotten, but I remember Derek Heaton (a pro), Anthony Davis (Mark's older brother) and Tommy Bartlett. Tommy was a lovely guy but I don't know if he ever moved up a level. Saturday morning competitions were heaving with youngsters.

There were five snooker clubs at that time and loads of working men's clubs. All that remains is one snooker hall which is more oriented towards pool. I have played at least once a week (usually three or four times) in the intervening 37 years (ouch!) and won't stop whilst there is still a decent table to be had.

I have so many memories of laughs, victories, drunkenness, sobering defeats, fights (not me - well only once) and characters who are long gone but who I thought would be there forever.

Anyway, I have gone on long enough.

What are your earliest memories whether you play or just watch?

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby D4P

I discovered snooker in early 2017, when YouTube suggested I watch an exhibition video involving a snooker player (Ronnie O'Sullivan, a name I had never heard before) and a pool player (Pan Xiaoting, also a name I had never heard before). I watched the video and was mesmerized by Ronnie's style enough to look him up and learn more about him. I then started watching more of his videos on YouTube, and found myself becoming increasingly interested in him and in snooker itself. I've been following WorldSnooker ever since.

I have never seen a snooker table in person, having only seen them on TV (or more accurately, the Internet). I played pool (in the U.S.A.) a small number of times when I was young, but was never good at it and never really tried to be. I hope someday to play snooker at least once, so that I can fully appreciate the size of the table, the difficulty of potting, etc.

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby Dan-cat

D4P wrote:I discovered snooker in early 2017, when YouTube suggested I watch an exhibition video involving a snooker player (Ronnie O'Sullivan, a name I had never heard before) and a pool player (Pan Xiaoting, also a name I had never heard before). I watched the video and was mesmerized by Ronnie's style enough to look him up and learn more about him. I then started watching more of his videos on YouTube, and found myself becoming increasingly interested in him and in snooker itself. I've been following WorldSnooker ever since.

I have never seen a snooker table in person, having only seen them on TV (or more accurately, the Internet). I played pool (in the U.S.A.) a small number of times when I was young, but was never good at it and never really tried to be. I hope someday to play snooker at least once, so that I can fully appreciate the size of the table, the difficulty of potting, etc.


I've see that exhibition, that's a mad unusual way to get into snooker!

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby D4P

Dan-cat wrote:I've see that exhibition, that's a mad unusual way to get into snooker!


Yeah, especially since it wasn't even a snooker match. I was initially just interested in Ronnie, as it was clear that I was watching someone with a special talent...

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby KrazeeEyezKilla

I don't know. It got huge levels of media coverage as a child. Without paying attention to it I already knew about Hendry, White, O'Sullivan (who I thought was Irish) and Davis. The 1995 World Championship was the first time I watched it regularly. After that I got my older brothers table out of the garage and started playing on it. That year had such a long and hot summer that I played it outside a lot.

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby SnookerFan

I discovered it a lot more recently then people might think.

I can't tell you exactly the time I first watched snooker on TV. I remember sometime in the late 1990s. I was in my late teens, was still living with my parents. I'd got home from school or college, or wherever I'd been. My mum was downstairs with one of her mates. In my room, I was channel surfing. I put some of the snooker on BBC 2. From memory, it was a Stephen Hendry match. No idea what tournament. Anyway, at that time in my life I believed the reputation that snooker was boring, and only watched by dullards. I watched a frame, in an ironic way. Hoping the commentators would be getting excited over something, and I'd be laughing at how asinine it all was. After watching one frame, I thought; "Huh. That wasn't so bad." Turned it off, didn't really think about it.

After that, whenever my gran came to visit or I went to visit her, she put the snooker on and I'd watch a bit with her. I didn't realise at the time, but my accidental watching of a Hendry frame completely changed my mind on the sport, and now I'd be happy to watch it. I'd only ever watch it with my gran at that point, but I'd enjoy it when I did. I don't remember much about the tournaments, the only vague memory I have was Steve Davis being introduced as the reigning Masters champion. So it must've been somewhere between January 1997 and January 1998. Anyway, after I while, I became my gran's official 'Jimmy Watcher'. Whenever I was at her house, and Jimmy White was playing in the evening she had a dilemma. All her soap operas were on, but she still wanted to see how old Jimmy was doing. (She still believed that he'd win it all one day.) Anyway, so I'd sit watching the Jimmy White game, and every 15 minutes when she had an ad-break she'd stagger in. "Is Jimmy White winning yet?", "No Gran, he's still losing."

In my second year of University, I happened to notice that the World Snooker Championship 2002 was on. This is when I officially 'discovered' it. I thought; "Hey I don't mind snooker." I'd come in at lunch time with a bunch of coursework that would need doing, and think; "I'll just have lunch, watch a frame and get on with the work." Suddenly it was 5pm, and I'd sat there all day watching snooker. I spent most of the 17 days doing this. That was the year Ebdon won. I often joke that the world's most boring player was the one who officially got me hooked on the sport. rofl

Fast forward to 2006 and I got myself Masters tickets in London. I thought about that year this tournament. On overhearing a few of the conversations at the Ally Pally I amused myself about how little some of the people in attendance actually knew about snooker. But then reminded myself not to be a snob. At the 2006 Masters, I hadn't realised until I attended it was a top-16 only tournament. :emb: We're all inexperienced fans at one point. Anyway, my enjoyment of The Masters lead me to get Crucible tickets that year.

By that point, my gran had sadly passed away, so I remember really hoping (but not expecting) that Jimmy White would win it that year for my gran. He lost 10-5 to David Gray in the first round. :lol:

Now I'm just a lunatic who watches everything snooker related, goes to loads of live events, posts on a snooker forum and all this without ever having played on a full-sized table.

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby HappyCamper

I used to visit my great aunt when I was little. She was a big Hendry fan and would always have the snooker on the telly. So i'd watch it while having my fish fingers and baked beans and a choc ice or whatever; and got hooked. This would have been early nineties so my earliest memories are just a blur of Hendry winning again and again.

My parents never acquiesced to my requests to buy a table - though they did get me a drum kit so I guess I can't complain too much. The local church had some tables for the youth clubs and BB and the like. But I was never any good. So now I just watch and occasionally play pool.

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby SnookerFan

Dan-cat wrote:It’s always the older ladies!! No wonder the beeb wants to look after them.


But enough about your romantic interests.....

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby rekoons

When I was about 13 or 14 my sisters’ boyfriend at the time was actually half Belgian half Welsh, It was probably him who put the snooker on BBC on, and that way I saw snooker for the first time.

Me and my mate decided to try snooker and were instantly hooked up. I remember the fierce best of 35 battles we played for weeks as kids. :happy: We weren’t any good and we’re still not even half decent as we would struggle to make a 20 break.

During college years playing snooker was at a low.

Accidently met a club player (lowest division), me and my mate joined the club, played about 2/3 times a week for a year and improved to making very regular 20+ breaks and a rare 30+. Gave up on competitive play after 2 years because in Belgium competitive play sucks because you have to drive like 1h + in evening traffic on a Monday/Tuesday evening :grrr: . Combine that with being rubbish and losing the majority of your matches and other more urgent life stuff led to losing a bit of interest with the game and only playing like every month or 2 for the next couple of years.

I’m recently back to playing once a week again, and still hope to one day own my very own table, THEN the centuries will surely come easy :john: rofl

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby Holden Chinaski

rekoons wrote:When I was about 13 or 14 my sisters’ boyfriend at the time was actually half Belgian half Welsh, It was probably him who put the snooker on BBC on, and that way I saw snooker for the first time.

Me and my mate decided to try snooker and were instantly hooked up. I remember the fierce best of 35 battles we played for weeks as kids. :happy: We weren’t any good and we’re still not even half decent as we would struggle to make a 20 break.

During college years playing snooker was at a low.

Accidently met a club player (lowest division), me and my mate joined the club, played about 2/3 times a week for a year and improved to making very regular 20+ breaks and a rare 30+. Gave up on competitive play after 2 years because in Belgium competitive play sucks because you have to drive like 1h + in evening traffic on a Monday/Tuesday evening :grrr: . Combine that with being rubbish and losing the majority of your matches and other more urgent life stuff led to losing a bit of interest with the game and only playing like every month or 2 for the next couple of years.

I’m recently back to playing once a week again, and still hope to one day own my very own table, THEN the centuries will surely come easy :john: rofl

Where do you live?

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby The_Abbott

Ah, the Shootout. Has it come around again so soon. It doesn't seem that long since Michael Georgiou burst onto the snooker scene to win his first ranking event. Poor Dotty. Maybe this year.

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby Badsnookerplayer

Holden Chinaski wrote:
Badsnookerplayer wrote:My first memories of snooker are...

That was a great post, BSP. I enjoyed that. Those old-school snooker halls must have been great!

Cheers HC.

As with many things in life, you don't appreciate it until it has gone.

Thankfully the club I play in now has not changed since the 80s/90s but the tables are very well looked after.

If that goes I am stuck.
:hatoff:

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby Ash147

I can remember watching Snooker occasionally when I was a kid, when my dad would turn on BBC. I suppose this would have been the early 2000's, possibly just before the turn of the century. I have one very vivid memory, which was the match between Dott and Doherty at the 2003 World Snooker Championship. I have no idea why I remember this match so specifically, as I did watch other parts of the tournament too, but can't remember those that well. I started secondary school later that year, and I didn't watch another match for quite some time.

It wasn't until 2012 that I started to watch Snooker regularly, and would consider myself a fan. This came about when I was on my break at an old job, and one of my colleagues had turned on the TV. It was the start of the 2012 World Championship, and Ronnie was playing Peter Ebdon. I remember getting very engrossed in the match, and I could have happily stayed there all day watching it, if not for the fact that I was at work. After that match I watched every minute that I could of the World Championship, and managed to see all of the final.

After that I started to watch all of the BBC tournaments, and actively followed Snooker online. Sometime around 2013/2014 I signed up to Eurosport. Since then I have been watching every Snooker tournament that I can, and am now an avid fan.

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby Holden Chinaski

I was playing pool a lot in my teenage years and early twenties. A friend who I used to play pool with told me I should watch some snooker so I did. I started watching snooker on the BBC occasionally. Me and my friend started playing snooker instead of pool. Then the 2004 World Championship came around and that got me hooked. I still think the snooker Ronnie played in the 2004 World Championship and the 2005 Masters is the highest level of snooker I've ever seen.
Last edited by Holden Chinaski on 24 Jan 2019, edited 1 time in total.

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby Andre147

I also began watching Snooker during the 2005 WC. I remember watching glimpses of the Semis, but then the Final got me really hooked. Was rooting for Stevens to win, was a bit sad that he lost. Then after that I only watched sporadically, but Ronnie was the main reason for my love for the game, and Eurosport played a massive part in that too. If it wasn't for ES, I would never have had the chance to watch regularly. Then, I learned the BBC also broadcasted, and started watching it via streams. That was also the time when Premier League was aired on Sky, and I loved watching that too, and ITV more recently.

So yeah it all started in those 2005 World Champs.

Re: How did you get into snooker?

Postby Wildey

Cloud Strife wrote:I never got into snooker, and still haven't, tbh.

you just fancy ronnie :limp2: