We’ve teamed up with Snooker Legends Tour to offer you the chance to #WIN a pair of tickets to see all your favourite snooker legends live.
Snooker legend Jimmy White is preparing to return to Ireland on the newly-established World Seniors Tour which visits Goffs in early January, and has been effusive in his praise of both the venue and Irish crowds heading into the tournament.
The legendary Kildare spot has long been associated with high end snooker and White told the Dublin Gazette that the trip to Ireland is also hugely popular amongst the players.
“You can ask any player, they love playing at Goffs, it’s one of the best venues in the world” he said, whilst admitting that he didn’t recall much of his famous Irish Masters win over Alex Higgins, 9 frames to 5 back in 1985.
“I don’t really remember that final but the Benson and Hedges was there for ten years, and it was always a great atmosphere, especially for Higgins,
Doherty and Taylor. Everyone loved coming over.
“I just found out that Steve Davis is coming over to play the seniors,” White said of the tournament in January, marking the Irish return of the full seniors tour, which began earlier this year.
“Jason Francis from Snooker Legends is guaranteeing a tour for people over 40,” White explained. “So there are big things happening. I plan to play the whole tour. I expect I’ll keep going for about another five years but the main thing is that I’m enjoying it.
“I don’t enjoy the practise so much these days – it gets a bit tedious – but I enjoy the games. As long as that’s true, I’ll keep playing. I’m not too concerned with things like world rankings anymore. It’s about having a good time, and the tour is a chance to do that. I’ll do it for a few more years, then I’m going to go and play golf somewhere.
“I don’t like the travel, that’s the one downside. But I have a house in Thailand which makes playing in Asia a bit easier,” he continued. “It’s all part of it.
“I love the game, even after 37 years, and I’m happy to still be playing.”
Despite almost all the strength in his age group coming from the UK and Ireland, White strongly suspects that the future of snooker lies in China, however.
Speaking of his love for the attacking nature of the modern game, White singled out Ronnie O’Sullivan as being “just another level” but went on to add that “there are a lot of good Chinese players coming through, and they look really good.
“England and Ireland seem to have the same problem now,” he explained.
“The government is funding snooker in China, and the standard is getting
“There are a lot of great players still going from the UK, and from Ireland but they won’t keep going forever. Ireland’s huge in the sport but I don’t see a lot of young players coming through in either Ireland or the UK.
“There are better facilities in China now than we have at home. They’re going to have a lot of good players.
“I love the way the games played now, though,” he continued. “If anything it suits me better than when I was at my best. It suits me down to the ground, I didn’t think it could get any better when Stephen Hendry came along, but it did, with Ronnie O’Sullivan.”
In the eyes of many, the attacking snooker White offered at his peak was the spark that led to O’Sullivan’s modern day brand in the first place. Perhaps, had they peaked at the same time, White and O’Sullivan would have been one of the great attacking, flamboyant rivalries.
The Snooker Legends World Seniors Tour arrives at Goffs on January 6, and will feature Jimmy White, Stephen Davis and Ken Doherty – whom White beat in the finale last time out – as well as other pros and a few qualifying amateurs. With two sessions per day, the final takes place on January 7.
Tickets for all sessions are on sale via Ticketmaster.
How to enter:
To be in with a chance of winning a pair of these tickets, simply email the answer to the question below to firstname.lastname@example.org – don’t forget to include your contact details.
Which famous Kildare venue will host this years Snooker Legends event?
Alternatively, you can visit Dublin Gazette’s Facebook page and follow the instructions to enter. Winners will be announced on Wednesday 20th December.