Current Ranking: 1
League & County: I play in the Oxford League for the Oracle Snooker Club in Abingdon on a Thursday evening. The Oxford league is at the very heart of my Bar Billiards and I really enjoy it. We have a lovely team who get along very well so it makes every match a lot of fun. One year I also joined the Wallingford League but I have always stuck with Oxford.
When did you first play the game? I have played since 1975. A friend of mine, Dave Tooke, wanted to start a team at a pub in town. I agreed and we started in section 7 of the Oxford league. I enjoyed it immediately – what a laugh we had in the early days. Learning the basics of the game came quite naturally to me and so I did improve, from a very low base, quite quickly. I remember one season where I lost horribly every game for the first half of the season. However, then something clicked and I managed to start winning games, putting better scores together and building my confidence. Like a lot of things, I think confidence can take you a lot further in Bar Billiards. Despite my game improving it still took a very long time for me to win a main tournament – I kept losing in finals! I cannot put my finger on what changed but eventually I got over the line and that started a good run of tournament victories.
What is your greatest Bar Billiards Achievement? Winning the All England Singles. It took me so long to capture that title and then, once I did it, I followed that up with another win the very next year. I enter all of the Open Championships and as many All England events as I can – even though I may get knocked out at some point – I always use these events to improve. If I can capture a high break prize or a furthest lady award then I feel that I have something to show for my efforts.
How can we grow the ladies game? I have five or six ladies that play Inter Area and County. For a time it was getting harder and harder to hold events that were ladies only. Things have changed a little and now that we play against the men’s teams – just like in our leagues – I am really enjoying the challenge. It is absolutely going to help us girls and I am certain it’s the right thing for Bar Billiards. Who knows, maybe they’ll do the same with other sports.
Why do you enjoy Bar Billiards? I love the social side of it is excellent. I enjoy being out with the people that play it. We are like one big family. We do everything we can to support each other and we all try to be there for one another.
Dogs or Cats? Cats.
Dream destination? That is a hard one because my sister would like to visit all sorts of destinations. She has a bucket list that includes places like Las Vegas or seeing the Northern Lights. On the other hand, I am very happy visiting the wonderful places in England. There are so many beautiful things to see that we perhaps take a little for granted. We will continue the debate about the next trip though!
Perfect dinner guest? Tom Jones – I’ve been to see him a few times, even quite recently. I am sure that he would be very entertaining at dinner.
Marmite yes/no? Yes