Seniors World Championship 2018 – Launch Event

Yesterday, the 1986 World Champion, Joe Johnson, was in Scunthorpe, with Jason Francis to promote the upcoming World Championship.

Here is the report by the Scunthorpe Telegraph

Former world champion speaks ahead of snooker championship in Scunthorpe

Joe Johnson spoke at a special launch event

By

Charlie Wilson

07:00, 17 FEB 2018

1986 World Snooker Champion Joe Johnson pictured at the launch of 2018 World Senior Snooker Championship at the Baths Hall, Scunthorpe

Former snooker world champion Joe Johnson is looking forward to returning to Scunthorpe.

For the second consecutive year, the town will play host to the World Seniors Snooker Championship.

The tournament will once again be held at the Baths Hall, following a hugely successful event in 2017.

A special launch event was held at The Baths Hall yesterday (Friday, February 16) in which the 1986 world champion Joe Johnson was present to launch the tournament, which will run from March 20-24.

The 65-year-old spoke to the Scunthorpe Telegraph about the upcoming event, and stated just how much he was looking forward to returning to play at the Baths Hall.

“Absolutely. It was fantastic last year and we’re all very excited to return to the Baths Hall next month,” Johnson told the Telegraph.

“I thought the event was really professional and it was well attended by the people of Scunthorpe.

“This part of the country has always been a hotbed of snooker. There has been some top players from round such as Sid Hood, Mike Hallett and Ray Edmunds – we knew of the interest in snooker around here, but it was so great to see the crowds turn out like they did in Scunthorpe.”

1986 World Snooker Champion Joe Johnson pictured at the launch of 2018 World Senior Snooker Championship at the Baths Hall, Scunthorpe with (from left) Baths Hall general manager Dan Harris and promoter Jason Francis
During his 27-year professional career, Johnson has played all around the world in countries such as Australia, Dubai, Canada, China and Hong Kong to name a few – playing in some of the most prestigious arenas.

However, Johnson was full of praise for the Baths Hall and made a big statement on just how impressed he was by Scunthorpe’s entertainment venue.

“It’s an amazing feeling to play in front of a full house and it really is a great venue here at the Baths Hall – when I came in last year I was honestly surprised on just how nice it was.

“I would say it is as good as any venue I have ever played in.”

After a highly successful tournament last year, in which the event was streamed to just under three million people, Johnson feels that Scunthorpe has the potential to become the home of the World Seniors Snooker Championship.

“It absolutely has the potential. We all thoroughly enjoyed playing here last year and that’s why we are back.

“If you think of the World Championships, you automatically think of the Crucible in Sheffield. Well what we want to do is when people think of the World Seniors, they think of the Baths Hall in Scunthorpe.

1986 World Snooker Champion Joe Johnson pictured at the launch of 2018 World Senior Snooker Championship at the Baths Hall, Scunthorpe, with (from left) Baths Hall general manager Dan Harris, promoter Jason Francis and Andy Doyle from Victor Wood Kia (Grantham) who are sponsoring the 147 break with a Kia Sportage
“One day, the time will come where the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and all the world’s best players – they could be playing in this tournament in just a few years. That would be great for Scunthorpe.”

The winner of the event will pocket £10,000 and will also go on to play in the professional World Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in April.

And the former World Champion did not hesitate when asked who he believes will be victorious in this year’s Championship.

“Obviously I am going to win! I had a great win last year of Patrick Wallace – he was the early favourite and I played really well against him and came out on top.

“If by some chance I don’t win it… to be honest, there are so many good players in this tournament, you will see a high quality level of play.

Here is the Schedule for the first round of the Seniors World Championship 2018:

SESSION 1 Wednesday 21st March @ 1pm

Match 1 John Parrott (2) v Qualifier

followed by Match 2 Willie Thorne (8) v Qualifier

SESSION 2 @ 7pm

Match 3 Tony Drago (5) v Qualifier

followed by Match 4 Dennis Taylor (4) v Qualifier

SESSION 3 Thursday 22nd March @ 1pm

Match 5 Stephen Hendry (1) v Qualifier

followed by Match 6 Joe Johnson (3) v Qualifier

SESSION 4 Thursday 22nd March @ 7pm

Match 7 Cliff Thorburn (7) v Qualifier

followed by Match 8 Tony Knowles (6) v Qualifier

 

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