After missing the opening day for the football, I made my first trip to the 2011 World Championship at the Crucible Theatre on Sunday 17th April.
Click below to read my full report and pictures.
We arrived at around 12:30 to have a look at this years set up and see if we could see anyone we knew about. It was rather quiet outside early on because most people were inside watching the morning session of Ding Jun Hui v Jamie Burnett and Jamie Cope v Andrew Pagett matches.
Once the session had finished, all the regulars came out to Tudor Square and me and my Dad had a chat to them all, including Statman, Kellie, Tammy, Brian and the legendary Hairbear ! Me and Hairbear also had our first picture of this years championship, and I am sure there will be a few more before the tournament is over.
While stood in Tudor Square I had my picture with Andrew Pagett who had just lost 10-7 to Jamie Cope and was wearing his bright pink outfit. Despite having just lost, Andrew was very friendly to us and was happy to have the picture. We then saw Michaela Tabb and she came over and spoke to us, joking that she was upset that she didn’t get a picture with me last year!
I had a picture with Shaun Murphy as he made his way to the Crucible through the front entrance ready for his match against Marcus Campbell which I would be watching soon. Shaun was happy to have pictures and sign for everyone and he seemed very relaxed considering he was playing in just over half an hour, though I suppose at 9-0 up you can afford to be relaxed!
After chatting to a few more people we knew, we made our way into the Crucible for the first time this year to take our seats for the second session of the match between Shaun Murphy and Marcus Campbell. The score was 9-0 after yesterdays session, so we weren’t expecting this session to last very long. Luckily it was a good game on the other table as well, with 7-time World Champion Stephen Hendry facing Joe Perry.
Marcus Campbell managed to avoid the dreaded whitewash by taking the first frame and at one point he looked like pulling another frame back to make it 9-2, but Murphy eventually got in and took the 11th frame to win the match 10-1 and book his place in round 2 against either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Dominic Dale.
We then watched the two frames of Hendry v Perry before the mid session interval from our seat over on the other side of the venue, before Cameron who sits right next to the seat gave me his ticket which was very kind of him. This meant that I got to sit right next to Stephen Hendry and get on TV with my ‘ryan147.com’ t-shirt on.
Hendry came out after the interval and made an excellent 133 break to take a 3-2 lead and won the next to go 4-2 ahead. ‘Gentleman’ Joe Perry took the 7th frame to make it 4-3 before Hendry won the next two, including another century in the last frame, to lead 6-3 overnight.
After the afternoon session we stayed for a while and I got pictures with BBC presenter Hazel Irvine, Joe Perry, Mark King, Alfie Burden and John Parrott, who said he had seen me on the front row earlier in the day!
We then went into the Winter Gardens to watch Hazel Irvine, Steve Davis and Ken Doherty filming for the BBC coverage, before heading off home to end a wonderful day at the Crucible.
The following photos are taken off the TV from the Hendry v Perry game, with me in the audience