Find out more about the German Masters champion who will be seeking back to back ranking titles at the BetVictor Welsh Open this week…
By Jonathan Davies
Abroad – What is your favourite holiday destination?
I went to Las Vegas back in February – I enjoyed it a lot and will definitely be going back.
Book – What is the last book you read?
I don’t read many books unless there are pictures in there! The last one I read was Jimmy White’s first autobiography – Behind the White Ball.
Cue – What cue do you use?
I use an Aeon cue but have had SightRight technology put into it – that’s one of the best things I’ve done in my career.
Day – What happens in a typical working day for you?
I’m an early riser so I get up at 7.30am, have a nice cup of tea and watch Sky Sports News. I then jump on the train, get to the club and practise for three or four hours before coming home, cooking dinner and relaxing in front of the TV.
Education – How would you get on in a pub quiz?
Considering I didn’t go to school very often, I am quite knowledgeable – more so for the sports section. Quite a few friends tend to text me the sports questions when they’re at quizzes.
Film – What is your favourite film?
I do like a comedy film – Dumb and Dumber is one of my favourites. I also like 8 Mile and American History X.
Goals – What are your aims for this season?
Firstly, and most importantly, is to enjoy playing. I’d like to win more trophies and stay in the top 16.
Hobbies – What are your interests away from the table?
I play golf when I get the chance, off an 18 handicap. I like a game of darts from time to time and I also enjoy playing on my PlayStation.
Idols – Who are yours?
Snooker-wise, my idols were Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry. I always wanted Jimmy to win the World Championship, but it never happened. Also, I like Roger Federer, Phil Taylor and Tiger Woods for what they’ve all done for their sports.
Job – What would you be if you weren’t a snooker player?
Before I was a snooker player, I used to work as a kitchen assistant at Harrow School. I also worked as a croupier in a casino which I wouldn’t mind going back to, but would prefer to do it on a cruise ship and be away for six months. If I wasn’t playing snooker, I’d probably give darts more of a go. I’d definitely be involved in sport in some way, but I couldn’t do an office job.
Kid – Were you a well-behaved child?
I probably wasn’t, to be honest. I got a little bit better when I got to my teenage years, but I had plenty of belts across the backside and clips round the ear. It got to the point where I went into school, signed in and walked out trying to find different avenues of getting to the snooker club without anyone seeing me.
Lucky – What is the biggest piece of luck you’ve ever had?
I was tied 7-7 in the English Amateur Championship final with David Lilley in 2007. It came down to the final black and he potted it but went in-off, handing me the title and my place back on the professional tour. If that hadn’t have happened, I probably wouldn’t be on the circuit today – it’s not a nice way to win but I’ll remember it until the day I die.
Moan – What makes you have a good moan?
One of my pet hates is when people decide to walk in front of you at a snail’s pace – it really gets on my nerves. Another thing I don’t like is when people say they’re going to do something and they don’t.
Nightmare – What is your worst moment on a snooker table?
The 13-12 defeat to Neil Robertson in the second round of the 2010 World Championship from 11-5 up still gets to me, even though I didn’t do too much wrong. It seemed that everything conspired to go against me in that final session. In some ways, though, it was a good moment because I learned an awful lot.
Meetings fans in China
Oops! – What is the clumsiest thing you’ve ever done?
When I was playing golf with friends once, I accidentally drove the buggy into a tree. I was going slowly and steering one way but it decided to go the other – fortunately, I wasn’t going very fast and it was just really funny between me and my friends.
Picky – Is there anything you are particular about?
There are certain foods that I won’t touch. If I go for a meal with my coach Stephen Feeney and order a steak, within seconds of it arriving, I tip the peas and tomato onto his plate whether he wants them or not. I also eat in a certain order – I eat the bits I’m not so keen on first and leave the best until last.
Quiet – How long could you last in a sponsored silence?
I could probably last quite a while – I’m very quiet and shy until you get to know me properly and I don’t give much away.
Retirement – What do you plan to do after hanging up your cue?
If all goes according to plan, I’d like to give darts a go. One day, I’d also like to get married and have kids and spend as much time with them as I possibly could – if I did that now, I’d hardly see them because of being away all the time.
Shopping – Where do you buy your clothes from?
A mixture of places really – I bought a load of clothes in Las Vegas from Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren. When I’m back in the UK, I buy a lot of stuff from Blue Inc and bits from Debenhams, Sports Direct, TK Max and, sometimes, Primark – if I like the look of it, I’ll buy it.
Telly – What are your favourite programmes?
Only Fools and Horses is a comedy classic – I like a lot of older programmes like that, Open All Hours, The Two Ronnies, Porridge and Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I have every season of The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men and also thin that Mrs Brown’s Boys and Father Ted are great. I’m a huge WWE fan, as well, and watch it every week.
Unforgettable – What is your greatest ever moment on a snooker table?
Winning the Shootout in Blackpool was incredible – the crowd took to me and were singing ‘Gould’ to the theme of Gold by Spandau Ballet – it was an unbelievable weekend. But winning my first ranking title at the German Masters has to top that.
Venue – What is your favourite venue to play at?
The Crucible without a doubt – I’d be surprised if any other player says anything different. Everybody dreams of playing there and lifting the trophy.
Wheels – What car do you drive?
I don’t drive – I’ve got a bus stop right outside my house and a train station within five minutes, so I don’t really need to drive. It’s a lot more relaxing and comfortable when you’re not relying on yourself.
X – If you could kiss any girl in the world, who would it be?
Gemma Atkinson, Nicole Scherzinger, Kelly Brook, Lucy Pinder – there’s millions – I’ll leave it at that because I’d feel rude leaving anyone out.
YIKES! – Do you have any phobias?
I can’t stand heights – I have to sit in the aisle seat on aeroplanes.
Zzzzz – What puts you to sleep?
If I get comfortable with a DVD on, I’ll more than likely just nod off. Unless I’m sharing a room with Allan Taylor, I don’t usually have an issue when it comes to sleeping.