An Impromptu Interview with Jason Francis

Before you read further … I wanted to know more about the 900, and Jason had agreed to give me an exclusive interview for my blogs. Jason and I have known each other for many years and, well … our conversation lead us onto other subjects dear to us both, the Seniors and his future endeavours. That wasn’t planned but here goes … and enjoy!

M: On Tuesday next week, 8 players will compete in the first instalment of the 900 series. What inspired you to start this series and how did you come up with the concept?

J: I’ve always aim to create events that I, as a snooker fan, would want to watch or play in. That’s the main priority, at the end of the day I am a snooker fan. So whether it be the Legends Cup, the re-spotted black deciders, the team events, the doubles… its all about entertainment. So I created the Amateur Snooker League in 2021, ASL, and we did a trial event… it wasn’t right. So I listened to some tv companies, I tried to understand what is important to them… and I created the 900.

M: The players competing in the series are invited. How did this work and what criteria guided your choices? 

J: So I always said from the start the first event should reward those who have supported all my other events, no apologies for that. So many amateurs have taken time out to travel and play in whatever event I put on, many probably with no realistic chance of winning that event, but they’ve followed me so when I got this on I stuck by that promise, while at the same time making sure we tried to access every top amateur snooker champion in the world.

M: Organising such series of events comes at a cost and there is prize money as well. How is this series funded?

J: If you truly believe in something sometimes you have to be willing to back it, you have to set a level of prize money that is attractive, eye catching to amateurs but at the same time sustainable. On every event I have ever staged there has been no guarantee of me making money, that’s life as a promoter and what a lot of people just don’t get. There are plenty of people who sit in salaried positions in both sports I am involved in who can make decisions without that having any personal risk… I wonder sometimes if they would be making those choices if it was their money?

M: It is an amateur only series. Why is that?

J: That’s because we are televised and the WST professionals are not permitted to play on television without permission from world snooker and of course the 900 will clash with so many of their events over the course of the next 9 weeks. So many pros have asked me to play in it, I’ve told them in the future go and get permission and I will gladly have them in but the event trying to get sanctions comes with too many other restrictions that get imposed, especially around ownership of international tv rights outside the host broadcast.

M: On social media, you hinted at a “Professionals’ 900” and a “Women’s 900” in the future. Regarding the professionals in particular, how will that be made possible? Will they not be in breach of their contract considering that those events are televised?

J: As above… if the prize money is right I can invite pros and then its up to them to go and get permission, its seems they can all go and play pool at the moment so if a ‘professionals’ week happened on a non WST event week then why would they not allow their players to earn money in a week where they can’t provide a tournament? I think it would be pretty cruel to stop players earning money if they are not staging an event. The women’s is very much the same as no tv women’s event would have credibility without the top 4. Let’s see.

M: Among the players you invited, there is a significant number of “Seniors” players. I suppose that they are particularly keen to get their cues out as, this season, there is only one major Seniors event, the World Championship. What happened there? 

J: The 900 has a mix of Legends, Top Amateurs, Seniors, Juniors, Women and WDBS, it’s the inclusion of all that I am so proud of being able to do. Very few of these would have been on tv much, some not at all. They deserve their chance. The Seniors situation is a bit more complicated

M: In the last couple of years, a number of your Legends have definitely retired (Cliff Thorburn, John Parrott, Dennis Taylor). How does that impact the Seniors Tour? I’m mainly thinking about the promotion of the events here.

J: It’s simple, you’ve lost 4 commercially valuable and attractive names.. and so far we don’t have 4 to fill the gap but just because they are not hitting balls it does not mean that they are not of use at the events in other ways. Commentary, hosting, corporate hospitality. It’s a he problem though and one I was talking about way before it happened.

M: Younger “Legends” appear to be keen on playing on the Seniors tour. Mark Williams in particular has recently expressed his interest on social media. Currently, being a top player he can’t. However you hinted at changes that would make it possible next season. What are those changes?

J: So the truth is back in October 2021 I presented a blueprint for the future of seniors to my board, the WPBSA players board and WPBSA board itself

It was very much around the point above that we were losing ‘marquee’ names and we were not replacing them. The current agreement with WST allows us to invite players over the age of 40 ranked 65 and below, in return Seniors agrees not to clash events or approach any sponsors or broadcasters they work with. 

The agreement was right at the time we signed it, it no longer really works for either side so since January we have been trying to work on a new agreement with them and to explore my blueprint which requested to open up invites to the whole tour, even if it meant raising the age to 45. 

I also suggested if that was not acceptable it could be limited to tv invites to former major winners. This would not have affected the opportunities for amateurs, or any WST pro who was not invited, as that allocation of places would have remained the same. 

But the benefits would have been huge and to me it was so simple. The value of being able to invite Ronnie, Mark, John, Ballrun for example, 4 world champions to a seniors event staged at a time when no WST event was on, the commercial value of that to a sponsor, to ticket sales, TV, to the tour in general would have been massive in my opinion… and could have increased prize money significantly. 

And I go back to my very first point about putting on events I would like to play in… imagine winning a club qualifier knowing the chance to play Ronnie or John Higgins live on tv in the crucible is the prize? 

Anyway sadly it didn’t work out but that should not be a criticism of WST as at this time they are in a huge period of transition with their own challenges to face so I understand supporting seniors is not a priority. Barry stepping back feels a bit like a team losing their captain, then Nigel retiring as well means a hugely experienced operator is lost to the team, then you add on Pete and Eugene retiring who fitted all the tables and it’s no surprise that Jason Francis wanting Mark Williams in his senior events becomes less important to them.

M: What happened to the Uk Seniors in Hull

J: Lots of people ask what has happened to Hull, our home of the Uk Seniors for the past 3 years. That is something that has disappointed me. I found out that WST had placed the Tour Championship there early next year while I was actually in the venue for my darts. I worked so hard on that event and with the council, the mayor to try and get Hull on the map for snooker, maybe I did it too well as a major ITV just got dropped in right over the top of our planned 2023 UK Seniors. And what did irritate me, but was I accept an oversight, was that internally our sport talked about how great it was to get snooker to Hull, we’d been there three years! So anyway it was clear two events as close to each other would not work, and again me as a snooker fan am I going to buy a ticket to see Patrick Wallace v Darren Morgan (with respect to both) or am I going to go to a best of 19 between the likes of Ronnie and Judd? Not often I really get irritated but that was a blow as that decision was made without a single consideration of the Seniors tour.

M: So whats the future?

J: But the good news is from May, when the agreement ends, Seniors is free to do whatever it wants and my partners at the WPBSA have been so great in continuing to support their tour as they truly see the benefit of it. 

So whereas seniors fans and players may be disappointed for this season, please sit tight as with the freedom to stage events when and where we want, with no restrictions on who we talk to or invite, with my new broadcast partners on events in darts I think the Seniors could very well get back to where it was pre covid.

M: Back to the 900 … the line-up is extremely diverse, which is great to see. Notably, it includes female players. Yet you consider a “Women’s 900”. Why is that? 

J: I think a Women’s week special, just like the pros could work very well. Once again I would dip into my own pocket to get that on, its well-known I am a huge supporter of the women’s game, women in sport, and not just because I manage Reanne. Why more Women’s snooker is not on tv baffles me.

M: What about other “specific” 900s? A “Youth 900” maybe? Thinking “under 18”  and or “under 16” here. 

J: So this time the rules on betting meant I could not invite a Liam Davies, a Daniel Boyes or Stan Moody despite how good that would have been but what underlies the whole 900 concept is not just about this tv event. 

The software I have built with a young whizzkid called Aaron from Scotland can soon be licensed to clubs who can run their own events, their own leagues. 

The beauty of a game of 900 is its 15 minutes… it’s a couple of games in your lunch hour. In a night league format for 3 or 4 players to play a couple of games and be done before midnight. It suits the modern lifestyle. And then my events can be about leagues, clubs sending us their champions. It can be played as a doubles event, a team event… it’s so flexible. We already have enquires for clubs wanting to run their own 900 events.

M: Anything else planned?

J: You’ve known me long enough to know I never sit still but also a lot of people don’t know I’ve been fighting a criminal court case for almost three years after someone in the sport made up a series of lies and false allegations against me because I uncovered some financial irregularities in a company I was involved in with some other professionals. They tried to destroy my reputation, my role with seniors and me personally, it was incredibly stressful having to keep quiet about this during that period on legal advice. That all came to an end in June when the truth finally all came out in court, as I knew it would, and I was found not guilty, completely vindicated and got a costs order.

So that’s behind me and now I am free of that I am back on full charge…Doubles in November, Champs league for amateurs I hope to start in 2023. Added a 4th darts major, Legends is taking Ronnie to Bulgaria and Germany this season, working on exhibitions for Stephen H. Team Champs in April 23 and the small matter of 4 Seniors Qualifiers, 4 Super Seniors Qualifiers and 3 Seniors Open Events…keep up everyone lol

Thank you Jason and good luck in your endeavours!

2022/23 World Seniors Open Series announcement

This was shared by Jason Francis on social media yesterday


The World Seniors Snooker Tour is today pleased to announce the creation of the Open Series which will add 3 more weekend events to the 2022/23 Season Calendar.

The Events will carry a minimum £1000 to the winner with prize money paid down to the last 16.

Entry will be £50 and played on a Saturday and Sunday.

The Dates are:

  • WSS OPEN SERIES 1 10th & 11th Dec 2022 – Crucible, Newbury
  • WSS OPEN SERIES 2 4th and 5th Feb 2023 – Crucible, Reading
  • WSS OPEN SERIES 3 8th and 9th Apr 2023 – Crucible, Newbury

Players will need to be over 40 on or before the first days play of each event. The event will be open to Amateurs and Professionals Ranked 65-131 of eligible age.

Best of 5 all the way through, every event will carry points which will count towards both the Official Rankings and also Money List.

Entry for all 3 competitions will open on 3rd October via


The mention of a “money list” suggests that the ranking system for the Seniors might change in the future to be “aligned” with what is used in the main tour. I will try to get more infos about that in the coming days.

2023 Seniors Snooker World Championship announcement

This morning Jason Francis has shared this on social media:




The Dream continues…. lets get cracking and change a few more snooker players lives…

The World Seniors Snooker Tour is proud to announce the 2023 World Seniors Snooker Championship which will be held at the iconic Crucible Theatre in Sheffield from Wednesday 3rd to Sunday 7th May 2023.

Once again the event will hold qualifiers to give opportunities for any amateur player, or any current WST professional player ranked 64-128 on the main tour, and over 40 on or before the 28th October 2022, to win one of four coveted spots at the event alongside legends of the game including Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry and Ken Doherty. Lee Walker will begin the defence of his title on the opening night.

Four Qualifiers will be held at the Crucible Club in Reading, with the winner of each event progressing to the main Championships. The dates of those qualifiers are

Qualifier 1 Friday 28th – Sunday 30th October 2022
Qualifier 2 Friday 13th – Sunday 15th January 2023
Qualifier 3 Friday 17th – Sunday 19th February 2023
Qualifier 4 Friday 10th – Sunday 12th March 2023

Entries will open on Monday 3rd October via

You cannot enter yet.

All players will need to secure, or already hold, a World Seniors Tour Membership for the 2022/23 Season. Pros who already hold a WPBSA membership do not need both.

Further details and an entry pack will be produced prior to entries opening.

This is not a full calendar, but it’s excellent news all the same.

Good News about the Seniors Tour

It’s been a while … but eventually i’s good news.

After the last Seniors World Championship, we got no news about the World Seniors Tour, no provisional calendar for this season, no invitation to register for qualifiers… nothing.

Instead, Jason Francis has been involved in a lot of newer projects: Seniors Darts, the 900 and more… Many, me included, became worried that the World Seniors Snooker Tour would disappear. Clearly, there were some issues.

Yesterday, Jason Francis, posted this on social media

Keep the faith… we’re not done yet! #Daretodream


The announcement triggered a lot of positive comments, and, of course, questions.

Here is one comment by Barry Pinches, with Jason Francis’s answer

Pinches/Json FB 5.8.2022

Of course the other Jason he is mentionning is Jason Ferguson. That’s reassuring and definitely good news! Hopefully, we will know more and get a “calendar” very soon.


James Wattana strikes Gold

James Wattana still has it! He’s a national hero in Thailand and has made his country proud once again.

Indeed the veteran has won a gold medal for Thailand at the SEA games:

Snooker legend James Wattana claims SEA Games gold for Thailand

Thai snooker legend James Wattana claimed his first Southeast Asian Games gold medal on Sunday.

The 52-year-old Thai overcame stiff resistance from young Malaysian Lim Kok Leong in the men’s final at Ha Dong Gymnasium in Hanoi.


Kok Leong, 27, drew first blood in the best-of-seven-frames showdown, winning the opener 75-24.

Wattana won the next 88-34 to level the match but the hot-potting Malaysian edged ahead by clinching the third frame 70-25.

However, 2-1 was as good as it got for Kok Leong as the Thai cue-master found another gear and began schooling the young upstart.

Wattana took the next three frames 65-48, 83-33 and 67-42 to grab the gold medal.

The victory was also sweet revenge after Kok Leong crushed Thailand’s Passakorn Suwanawat 4-0 in the semi-final.

Meanwhile, the Thai Billiard Sports Association celebrated its first SEA Games gold, having won five bronze medals at previous editions.

At press time, Thailand was in second place with 293 medals – 77 gold, 91 silver, 125 bronze. Host Vietnam tops the table with 401 medals – 185 gold, 108 silver, 108 bronze. Indonesia is in third with 211 medals – 61 gold, 80 silver, 70 bronze.



Congratulations James Wattana!

Jimmy White Charity Exhibition – 31 July 2022

Jimmy Grimsby Sunday July 31 2022

Jamie Curtis- Barret is organising this exhibition and monies go to to the local charity that helped him,  his wife and family when she was terminally ill a few years ago.

Jamie’s wife, Leanne, was diagnosed with breast cancer aged only 27. She was expecting the couple’s second child, a son named Freddie. They already had a 3 years old daughter, Georgia. Leanne fought with all she had, but survived only 3 more years. Needless to say, every help is precious is such terrible circumstances.

Jamie wants to give something back to those who supported his family. Jimmy is keen to help and aher his performance in the World Seniors sure to be a good evening.

If you ca go, wonderful! If not … please share!

Our Seniors World Champion reflects on his career and his achievements

Lee Walker is currently competing in the 2022 Q-School, having dropped off the tour last month. He spoke to WST about how his recent triumph at the Crucible has changed everything  … 

Walker Relishing Seniors Title

Recently crowned World Seniors Champion Lee Walker will continue his bid to regain professional status at Q School tomorrow, but the Welshman admits that his place on the main circuit is no longer the be all and end all.

Walker secured a dream victory at the Crucible earlier this month, beating Jimmy White 5-4 in a thrilling final to win the seniors title. That came in the aftermath of a disappointing end to the regular season, which resulted in his relegation from the World Snooker Tour.

The 46-year-old faces Ashley Carty in the next round of Q School event one tomorrow, but he does so in the knowledge that he has held aloft silverware in snooker’s most prestigious venue. It was the first time he had performed in front of a Crucible crowd since 2004 and his first ever appearance in the single table setup with fans. Walker’s best World Championship performance dates back to 1997, when he made the quarter-finals.

He clinched his recent glory in style, firing home a nerveless break of 83 to capture the title. Reflecting on that winning moment, he admits he proved a lot to himself with regards to his ability to function under the most severe pressure.

Walker said: “I haven’t done as well as I thought I would do in my career and haven’t been on the verge of winning a tournament before. I’ve always wondered what I would do and whether I would be able to get myself over the line. To win it the way that I did, with one chance and an 83 break in the decider, was very pleasing to me and I showed myself that I could do it under the pressure. Although there was a lot of pressure out there, I felt pretty calm.

I was determined to enjoy every moment. I played Ken Doherty in the UK Seniors and at 2-0 down, I was a bit of a spoiled brat and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I asked myself what I was doing and decided I needed to enjoy it more. I played Stephen Hendry at the World Seniors and obviously Jimmy White in the final. If you can’t enjoy playing those guys at the Crucible, then you might as well put the cue away and not bother playing ever again. It was just a great experience.

When I did win, my son Noah came down and it was fantastic to share it with him. I looked at him and thought to try and not get upset, Mark Williams would have taken the mick out of me for the next 30 years if I did! Rob Walker asked me about Noah being there and I thought he was about to set me off, but I held myself together. It was a bit of an emotional moment, but it is one that I will cherish forever now.

Much of Walker’s focus has been away from his own game in recent times. He now works alongside best friend Williams as his coach and he has also been teaching 15-year-old prospect Liam Davies for the last nine years. That has made for an eventful few weeks for Walker.

Walker has been working with 15-year-old Liam Davies for nine years.

Davies made history last month, when he became the youngest ever player to win a World Championship match. He defeated Aaron Hill in the first round of qualifying, before adding another win against Fergal O’Brien. The teenager was denied a Judgement Day place after a 6-5 loss against Jordan Brown. Williams, who is now 47 years old, followed up Davies’ exploits by going all the way to the semi-finals, where he was beaten 17-16 in an epic showdown with Judd Trump.

Considering he is now in the twilight period of his playing career, Walker now sees coaching at the core of his profession. He is relishing working with two players at very different stages in their own journeys.

Mark has played so well this season. Himself, Higgins and O’Sullivan are amazing to still be playing at that level despite their age. He was so close to getting to the final of the Masters and he was so close to getting to the final at the Crucible.  That is some achievement in the two biggest tournaments we have. I think those three could probably keep playing until the age of 75 the way they are going.

I started working with Liam when he was six and he is like a son to me. I hope he feels the same, but I think we have a very special relationship. Watching him and watching Mark isn’t very nice. When you are out there playing you have control. When you are watching from the side and you are desperate for someone to win, it is very difficult. It is something I will have to get used to. Not only does Liam have a great future ahead of him, but he is a great lad as well. I am very proud of him. He lost his first match at Q School to Fergal, but whether he gets on now or in the future, it is just a matter of time.”

Walker hasn’t had long to prepare for Q School this year. In the immediate aftermath of the seniors, he went on a trip to Las Vegas with Williams, Mark Davis and all three of their wives. The former Gibraltar Open semi-finalist admits that he was seriously considering not entering Q School, but was persuaded to throw his hat in the ring and have another shot at the professional tour.

It was a good trip. After winning the seniors, I didn’t get home until 5am. I picked Mark Williams up at 11am, so I barely got any sleep. Then we had the flight and arrived in Vegas at about 8pm. The full intention was to go out, have two drinks and then go to bed. We left the bar at 6:30am!

It has been a mad month. I arrived with Mark in Sheffield on April 14th. We didn’t leave until he got knocked out in the semi-finals, I was then back up a couple of days later for the seniors. I then went to Vegas and here I am again competing in Q School. It has been crazy, but after this it will settle down and get back to normal.

I really wasn’t sure whether or not I’d play in Q School. I am never going to give up playing completely, but the last couple of years as a professional haven’t been that profitable. I have other things I want to do in the coaching side of it. I take Mark’s advice on playing matters, both he and my dad said that if I play in it and don’t get through then my mind is made up for me. They thought it was worth giving it a go this year. Never say never, but if I don’t get through I’d be surprised if I was ever in Q School again. I obviously want to qualify and when I get on the table I will be giving it 100%, but if I don’t get through I wont be devastated. If that is the end of it, then I will be just as happy playing in amateur events and the seniors.

Lee turned professional in 1994, aged 18. His best ever ranking was 41, his best result was a semi-final at the 2018 Gibraltar Open. Yet, Lee certainly can play to a very high standard. You don’t become the trusted coach of a multiple World Champion if you don’t know how to play the game inside-out. His achievements may look modest, but that’s because the standard at the top is incredibly high.

Lee truly loves his sport and will do anything to help aspiring players, no matter their level and abilities. When the first World Disability Snooker event was held in Wales, Lee and Michael White drove to the venue to support the event. It wasn’t close to their place – over 2 hours drive if my memory serves me well – but they came and spent several hours helping, chatting to the players, giving advice. They had a lot of time for everyone.

Winning the Seniors World Championship at the Crucible is, so far, the highlight of Lee’s career, a well deserved, unique moment that made years of hard graft worth it.

All the best in the future Lee

and enjoy your time as the Seniors World Champion!

Lee Walker is the 2022 Ways World Seniors Snooker Champion

Lee Walker came from behind to beat Jimmy White by 5-4 to win the 2022 Ways World Seniors Snooker Championship.

Congratulations Lee!


Here is the official report:

Walker Wins World Seniors Crown

Lee Walker came back from two down with three to play to oust Jimmy White 5-4 in the final at the Crucible Theatre and win the Ways Facilities Management World Seniors Snooker Championship for the first time. 

The 46-year-old raised the tournament curtain on Wednesday night and he was the last player standing in Sheffield on Sunday evening, with the title representing the biggest accolade of his career so far. 

Walker, who qualified for the main draw in February, began his campaign in the preliminary round with a 3-0 victory over Tony Knowles before an impressive elimination of Stephen Hendry by the same scoreline in the last 16, a result which included a break of 121. 

However, the Welshman needed to show different qualities during the latter stages of the championship as he became a master of brinksmanship. 

He came back from 0-2 down to deny Ken Doherty 4-2 in the quarter-finals and was even further adrift as he dethroned defending champion David Lilley in the semi-finals – stringing together four frames as he memorably turned a 0-3 deficit into a 4-3 success.  

His opponent in the title match was three-time winner Jimmy White, who was appearing in his fourth consecutive world seniors championship final. 

A vintage White had produced some of his best form in recent years to get there, dropping just one frame in three matches. During his 4-1 win over Rory McLeod in the last eight, The Whirlwind constructed a total clearance of 138, an effort which would stand as the event’s highest this year. He also compiled another total clearance – a 132 – as he saw off reigning UK seniors champion and former winner of this title, Peter Lines, 4-0 in the last four. 

The ever-popular Londoner started the final well, registering a run of 64 in the opening frame and carving out a 3-1 lead going into the mid-session interval. 

On resumption, Walker made a 72 break to take frame five and reduce his arrears, but White went on the brink of a fourth title as he claimed the sixth frame to move 4-2 up in the race to five.  

However, Walker was to conjure up yet another recovery, finding his scoring groove when it mattered the most to become the 11th different winner of this prestigious title. 

He chalked up frame seven and then forced a deciding frame with a clearance of 79 in the eighth. Walker would save his highest effort of the contest until last, though, grabbing his opportunity in the decider by crafting a classy break of 83 to lift the trophy.


After his win, Lee declared that he will “cherish this forever”.  Of course, he should!

He’s been a dedicated professional since 1994. He’s dropped off the tour a few times and came back. He had little success as a professional but still loves the game with a passion. He’s a well respected coach, he’s been helping Mark Williams for years. And now, he has finally won an event beating a legend of the game in the final, at the Crucible, no less. And he has done it the hard way.

He will be at the 2022 Champion of Champions.

In a few days he will head to the Q-school, where he will try to regain his tour card once more. Good luck Lee.

Jimmy took the high break prize for his marvellous 138

Jimmy HB

Jimmy played some marvellous snooker during the event. He was probably the best player out there but he couldn’t sustain his highest level in the latter stages of the final. Maybe, at 60, this is what happens. Consistency is hard to retain and tiredness may be a factor. But he delighted the crowd, and I hope he can take some satisfaction from that.

It was, once again, a great event. It was well supported by the fans.

Rob Walker, as usual, was a dynamic and enthusiast presence on the floor, be it to introduce the players or to interview them post-match.

The commentary team – John Virgo, Mike Dunn, Dennis Taylor, Stephen Hendry and Cliff Thorburn – did a sterling job.

The streaming on was excellent too. The service had been terrible earlier in the season but it seems that the issues have now been adressed successfully.



Only four remain at the 2022 Ways World Seniors Snooker Championship

They are: David Lilley, the defending champion, Jimmy White, the legend, Peter Lines the Seniors UK champion and Lee Walker, newcomer in this comp and “Willo”‘s coach.


Here is how it unfolded yesterday:

Quartet Confirmed for World Seniors Finals Day

Only four players remain on course for the 2022 Ways Facilities Management World Seniors Snooker Championship title as the event heads into its final day. 

The best of seven semi-finals will take place at the Crucible Theatre on Sunday afternoon from 1300GMT with the best of nine final scheduled to start in the evening at 1900GMT. The final four consists of the defending champion, two former champions and someone aiming to claim the title for the first time. 

That person is qualifier Lee Walker who was the first player through to Finals Day after he defeated Ken Doherty, 4-2. 

Walker – who won both his opening matches 3–0 – found himself 2-0 down to the 1997 world professional champion. However, with the help of two breaks of 56 and a 52, the Welshman turned things around to move in front before holding his nerve by sinking blue and pink in frame six to complete victory. 

Defending champion David Lilley still has the opportunity to become the first maiden winner to successfully retain the title after he dispatched tournament favourite Michael Holt, 4-0. 

Lilley took the first frame on the pink before restricting his opponent to just 13 further points as he registered top runs of 50 and 58. 

The evening session got off to a flyer as three-time world seniors champion Jimmy White conjured up one of his best performances in recent times to eliminate Rory McLeod, 4-1. 

The Whirlwind was in vintage scoring form as he racked up breaks of 53, 138, 71, 74 and 48 to reach the semi-finals of this event for the seventh time. The century in frame two was a total clearance and the new highest break for the tournament. 

Since the championship moved here in 2019, White has lost just once in 14 matches. 

Reigning UK Seniors Champion Peter Lines completed Sunday’s cast at the Crucible following a 4-1 success over fellow former winner of this title, Nigel Bond. The Leeds-based professional top scored with 93. 

Lines lifted the world seniors trophy in Scunthorpe in 2017, and he is now two more wins away from raising it again on Sunday night. As yet, no player has held both the UK and World Seniors Championship titles at the same time. 

Ken Doherty, who had his wife and son sat in the crowd, completely lost his ways after the first two frames. It was another case of a match turning on one shot. I’m not sure that having his family there helped him. He looked very nervous.

All four remaining players impressed in their quarter-finals match. It’s hard to predict a winner really. David Lilley looks absolutely determined to defend his title, both Lee Walker and Peter Lines played reliable, solid snooker and neither missed much once they got going. Jimmy was in scintillating form yesterday; he delighted the crowd.

So … just sit, watch and relax…


2022 Ways World Seniors Snooker Championship – Day 3

This is the official report on day 3 at the 2022 Ways World Seniors Snooker Championship:

Defending champion David Lilley and former champions Jimmy White and Nigel Bond were amongst those that advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2022 Ways Facilities Management World Seniors Snooker Championship during Friday’s play at the Crucible Theatre. 

Lilley – aiming to become the first maiden winner to retain the title – survived a big scare, coming back from two down with three to play to oust Philip Williams. 

Qualifier Williams opened up a 2-0 lead (56 break, frame one) before Lilley responded with frames three (60 break) and four to level up. However, in a nervy deciding frame, Williams had the opportunity to counter-attack but rattled the final red along the top cushion. The mistake was capitalised on by a very relieved Lilley. 

Elsewhere in the morning session, Ken Doherty ended the challenge of Wayne Cooper, 3-1. 

A quarter of a century on from his glory in the professional championship here, Doherty recorded breaks of 70 and 73 to dispatch his opponent and stay on course for a unique quadruple having also claimed the world junior and amateur accolades early in his prestigious career. 

The afternoon began with Lee Walker producing arguably the performance of the event so far as he eliminated Stephen Hendry, 3-0. 

The Welshman hit the ground running, crafting a magnificent 121 clearance in the opening frame – the first century of this year’s championship. Further breaks of 63 and 49 helped Walker stifle Hendry and move into the last eight for the first time. 

Michael Holt will also feature in the quarter-finals but the tournament favourite didn’t have it all his own way as he defeated 2011 winner Darren Morgan. 

Holt comfortably won the first frame with an effort of 63, but the experienced former world number eight struck back with a 51 to level up before appearing to look good for a lead in frame three. 

However, whilst on a break of 63, Morgan missed a pot down a side cushion and Holt punished, pinching the frame on the final black with a clearance of 34. With momentum now on his side, former Shoot Out winner Holt – competing in his first world seniors event – wrapped the match up without reply in the fourth. He will face Lilley next in a tasty clash. 

Crowd favourite and three-time champion White got his campaign off to a pleasing start as he eliminated African seniors champion Wael Talaat from Egypt, 3-0. 

White, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday, made a clutch break of 38 to secure the opener before finding his scoring groove with contributions of 67 and 79. Since the championship moved here in 2019, the Londoner has lost just once in 13 matches – last year’s final to Lilley. 

The day was rounded off with a routine 3-0 success for 2012 winner Bond over John Parrott. Bond top scored with 57 in the second frame. 

Following his appearance, 1991 World Professional Champion Parrott announced his competitive retirement from the seniors circuit. 

Parrott was given a standing ovation by the crowd in the Crucible Theatre as he paraded the world trophy he first lifted there over three decades ago. 

First of all, best wishes of happy retirement to John Parrot!

All three, Philip Williams, Wayne Cooper and Wael Talaat gave a really good account of themselves in this competition. We have to remember that, unlike their opponents, they have very little or no experience of this venue and are not used to the professional conditions. They should be proud of themselves. I hope that they fully enjoyed the occasion.

Stephen Hendry, on the other hand, was poor. Ok, Lee Walker was playing really well but still … That said, Stephen worked for the BBC during the whole 17 days of the 2022 World championship, so, maybe he couldn’t prepare as well as he would have wanted to.

Nigel Bond had far too much for John Parrott who has struggled with eyes issues over the last years. John had surely informed Jason Francis about his retirement plans because Jason had made sure that the World Trophy would be available at the premises for that little parade… John deserved a great farewell and he got it!