On Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd May 2010 I was back at the Crucible for the final of the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship
Sunday 2nd May
After some confusion over the start time of the opening session, I arrived at the Crucible for the first session of the final between Australian Neil Robertson and Scotland’s Graeme Dott. It was the first time there hadn’t been an Englishman in the final for 7 years, when Mark Williams beat Ken Doherty 18-16 in 2003.
Understandably, both players were feeling the pressure early on and neither really took off. Graeme looked slightly better and took a 3-1 lead at the interval with breaks including an 80 and two more over 40.
Neil was clearly quite nervous, this of course being his first final while his opponent had appeared in two more. However the Aussie did pull it back to 3-3 before losing the next two to trail 5-3 at the end of the session.
After the session we chatted to Carsten and Soren from www.snookershirt.co.uk who provide us with t-shirts to wear each year and also offered a prize for a competition on this site a few months back. They were great people and if you want a snooker t-shirt then their site is definitely the place to visit.
Sadly the day was filled with some sadness and shock. The British newspaper ‘The News of the World’ had posted allegations that reigning World Champion and world number 1 John Higgins, along with his manager Pat Mooney, had been caught on camera agreeing to lose frames for money. Clive Everton was in the Crucible doing an interview and there were a few other camera crews were there talking about the allegations.
After he had finished his interview I got a photo with the legendary Clive Everton who is a commentator for the BBC as well as editor of the Snooker Scene magazine.
Neil Robertson played much better in the evening session, with Graeme Dott clearly feeling the effects of a late night finish against Mark Selby the previous night. Robertson turned a 5-3 deficit into a 9-7 lead overnight as he aimed to become the first ever Australian to lift Snooker most prestigious trophy.
Still the weather did not get us down and eventually it brightened up a little. The press were still there talking about the John Higgins scandal, while ‘Mr Stretch’ and ‘Mr Armstrong’ were walking around with a music box playing the Pot Black music and mentioning my site quite a lot after we had told them about it!
I then spotted Cliff Thorburn, who I had seen earlier with Dennis Taylor in the hotel foyer, walking down the street and so I went up to him and asked for a photo with him. To my surprise he recognised me and said “Hey it’s Ryan!” and “Keep up the good work”. I was really happy that he recognised me as he is a real legend of the game and a great guy too.
Because of ridiculous scheduling, the afternoon session started at 3pm with the evening starting at 8pm. There was no way the two players were going to play all 8 frames in time and have a break before the evening session and unsurprisingly they didn’t. After playing only 6 frames, with the score 12-10 to Neil Robertson, the players were pulled off, leaving a potential 13 frames in the evening!
Between the sessions I waited around in the Crucible foyer because with it being the final session of the tournament a few ‘celebrities’ turn up for the event.
I got pictures with owner of Betfred, the tournament sponsors Fred Done, MC Rob Walker, Dickie Bird and Richard Caborn MP. I also got a wonderful photo with the two legends and world champions, Ray Reardon and Cliff Thorburn. Just as we headed off home I spotted the World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn walking down Tudor Square. He was a lovely guy and he was very friendly, signing and having photos with everybody, including me of course!
Meeting Barry Hearn was a great way to end my story, he is a lovely guy and the man who in my opinion is the way forward for the sport of snooker.
It was Neil Robertson who lifted the famous trophy at around 1am in the morning, defeating Graeme Dott 18-13 to become the first ever Australian to lift the crown. I was pleased for Neil as he has been a really lovely person every time I have met him and a brilliant World Champion for the sport.
I hope you have all enjoyed reading my story of the 2010 Betfred.com World Snooker Championship and…
Here’s to the 2011 championships!