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Hi everyone!

Postby Raziel

Hi everyone!

I recently retired from work (at the early age of 55) and now I'm sitting at home wondering what I'm going to do with myself!

I have had some ideas, and one of them is that I'm going to try to take up snooker again.

I have been a lurker on this forum (and the other forum) for ages, so I thought I would take the plunge and join up.

I stopped playing snooker about 12 years ago due to an eye problem called presbyopia (basically blurred vision) which could not be properly corrected at the time by either glasses or laser eye surgery.

Even after I stopped playing, I still followed the game pretty closely. I always kept up with who was winning what and the progress of any new professionals etc, and I never lost my love of the game.

But, luckily for me, medical science has advanced since I stopped playing, and I recently had Refractive Lens Replacement Surgery (RLR) where they removed the natural lenses in both my eyes and replaced them with synthetic ones.

I now no longer need to wear glasses, for either reading or distance, and I can see pretty much perfectly. So, sometime next week, I'm going to dust off my old cue and try to knock a few balls in. After 12 years away, I don't know what my cue-action will be like, but at least I will be able to see the balls now! (The RLR surgery cost me £8,000. But considering that I may live for another 20 or 30 years and will never need to wear glasses again, taking it on a per-year basis, I think it was well worth the money.)

I used to be quite a good player, but nowhere near good enough to be a professional. My highest break is 145, which I made when I was 22 - thirty three years ago! I also managed 15 reds and 15 blacks on two occasions, missing the yellow from distance both times. So I am convinced that the 'Gods of Snooker' decreed that I should never make the magic maximum. lol.

My fondest memories of snooker are from the time I played on the amateur tournament circuit. We used to travel to a tournament most weekends. I never won enough money to even cover my traveling expenses, and I don't think I ever got further than a quarter final. But it was always a brilliant day out. We would all jump in the minibus at anywhere between 4 and 6 o'clock in the morning, drive to wherever the tournament was, and try our best to get through a few rounds. Then, have a pint and a bite to eat, watch the semis and the final, then jump back in the minibus and drive home again. Sometimes we did not get home before 7 o'clock in the morning. But in those days we were young and didn't worry about things like sleep etc. lol. Good times!

At the time I played in those tournaments, the top amateur players were people like Neal Foulds, JJ Rees, Jon Wright, Andy Snell, Tony Chappel, Bob Harris and Tony Drago.

I see that Neal Foulds is now a commentator and Tony Drago is still (just about) playing on the pro circuit. And I sometimes see Tony Chappel playing in the Seniors tournaments. But I have no idea what happened to JJ Rees, Jon Wright, Andy Snell and Bob Harris. I think I will do some research and try to find out! Or, if anyone does know what happened to any of these players, please feel free to let me know. I would love to know what they are up to now, and whether or not they still enjoy the odd game of snooker.

Well, that's my introduction, I hope it's OK. :-)

I'm looking forward to discussing all aspects of snooker in the forums. In fact, I think I will go and post something right now.

Thanks everyone. It's good to be here. :-)

Re: Hi everyone!

Postby Roland

Welcome Raziel and thanks for the introduction. I think no matter what the price, if you can afford it and it makes you see better then it's money well spent, no point worrying about the hole in your wallet.

It sounds like you could play a bit so you'll probably hit the ground running and with renewed vigour. You'll be in a better position that most seniors with failing eyesight to do well in senior events, that should spur you.

Re: Hi everyone!

Postby Ayrshirebhoy

Nice story raziel, I'm hoping you hit that magic maximum :)

Re: Hi everyone!

Postby Raziel

Thanks for the very nice welcome, everyone. :-D

Well, I went to the RBL club this lunchtime and played five frames of snooker. At the moment I am definitely not the player I used to be, which is only to be expected I suppose. But I did manage to knock in a 39 in frame 4. All things considered, I am not unhappy with that.

It's really strange, after playing with snooker specs for over 25 years, to now be able to play without wearing them. I used to automatically know where to hit a ball to pot it. But sometimes now I'm not sure exactly where I should hit the object-ball. I think, possibly due to refraction or some other kind of optical weirdness, that I used to see the angles slightly differently when looking upwards through quite a thick spectacle lens.

But, no doubt, if I keep playing, I will get used to the new way I am seeing the balls. I'm going to try to hit the big 50 next time I play. And if I don't, I will just keep trying until I do!

But the main thing is that I'm enjoying playing snooker again, and I'm also enjoying my time on this forum.

I got quite a few positive comments about the post I made regarding Stephen Lee's judgment and the unlikeliness of him winning an appeal etc, so I'm pleased that I managed to make a good start. :-)

Thanks again guys. I look forward to talking to you all again in the forums. :ok: