Baize of glory for Hartlepool cue ace after TV debut

Budding future snooker star Michael Williams.
Budding future snooker star Michael Williams.

A BUDDING snooker star is hoping he is on cue for success after making his TV debut at the weekend.

Michael Williams is doing well in the amateur game, and came through two qualifying rounds to get to the first stage of the European Tour event held in Latvian capital Riga.

Michael, 21, came up against Steven Maguire - ranked eighth in the world - and even though he went down 4-2 in the first-to-four frames event he has returned home full of confidence.

The match was screened live on Eurosport, and after getting the exposure Michael admits he is now keen to get a taste of more in the future.

Michael, who lives in Westbourne Road with parents Ronnie and Diane and his younger sister Sophie, 19, said: “I was really nervous before the game knowing the TV cameras were there, but once I started I just tried to forget about them and played my normal game.

“i was pleased with how it went, though obviously the score could have been better.

“I got it to 2-2 at one stage but I missed a good chance to go 3-2 up and Steven stepped on from there.

“He spoke to me afterwards and said he enjoyed the way I played, and that I’d given him a tough game, so that gave me a boost.”

Michael took up the sport when he was 13, but feared his progress could be hampered when his training base at Hartlepool Snooker Centre in Burn Road was wrecked by fire in March.

Flames ripped through the building in an early-morning blaze, and the whole centre had to be demolished when it could not be saved.

Ex-Brierton pupil Michael now practices on a daily basis at South Durham Social Club, near to his home after bosses Alan and Angela Crossling said he was welcome to use the facilities whenever he wanted.

He added: “I was gutted after the fire, because I was down there every day practising.

“Alan and Angela have been great with me, allowing me to go in and practice even before they open, and I’m really grateful for that.

“My aim is to turn pro, and I have a busy year coming up with a few competitions.

“After Latvia last week I’ve got another event in Germany coming up next week, and it’s all about trying to get as far up the amateur rankings as I can to enable me to turn professional.

“Hopefully I can keep doing well.”

ANY businesses who can help Michael through sponsorship can contact him on 07883031481.