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Perry: Welsh Glory My Best Moment

Joe Perry describes winning last season’s BetVictor Welsh Open as the best moment of his career as he looks ahead to defending the title in Llandudno next week.

Perry beat Judd Trump 9-5 in the final last year in Newport and remains the proud holder of the Ray Reardon Trophy for at least a few more days. He’ll be at Venue Cymru in Llandudno in field packed with snooker’s biggest names, for the tournament which runs from February 13 to 19.

Limited tickets are still on sale – click here for details and click here for the opening round match schedule.

Cambridgeshire’s Perry, age 48, had previously won tournaments including the 2015 Players Championship in Thailand, but has no doubt that last year’s triumph over Trump topped the lot.

“It was the best day of my snooker career. My parents were there, it was on UK soil and it’s a big illustrious tournament – it was really special,” said the world number 30. “To see my mum and dad’s faces at the end made me proud. I’ve had so much help from them so it was a bit of pay back.

“It came very late in my career, 30 years after turning pro. I have won other events including the Players Championship which was bigger in terms of money, but not in prestige in my eyes. I played in the final of the Masters in 2017 and if I had beaten Ronnie that would have been my career highlight. When you play in a big final, if you can come out the victor you are the last man standing, you get your name on the list of winners and it’s a big achievement.”

Perry, who meets friend and practice partner Mark King in the opening round on Monday, added: “I don’t hold out massive hopes of defending the title because it’s really hard to win anything these days. But I’ll be proud to be introduced as the reigning champion. The pressure will be the same as it is in any other match. After all these years I still feel pressure in the early rounds of tournaments. I’m not one of those to tell lies and say I’m totally relaxed, I have always had to deal with nerves and maybe that’s why I haven’t done as well as I could.

“Mark has been through it before when he won in Northern Ireland. We were all delighted to see him win, and hopefully others felt the same about me. We are long term servants of snooker. I am really looking forward to next week. Llandudno is a lovely place and a lovely venue. The Welsh Open is by far the biggest of the Home Nations events because of its longevity.”