I became interested in snooker from the age
of 8 or 9. By the age of 11, I was very good
at snooker and so I took the risk and left school
at 15, without my GCSEs, to concentrate on the
sport. I turned professional at 17. I’m ranked
6 in the world at the moment.
I play 3-4 hours a day, sometimes more. For
a big tournament, I practise more. I play 5
days a week and have the weekend off. For 3
days, I practise on my own and for 2 days, I
practise with an opponent. Practice sessions
are just like work, you have to be disciplined.
At 11, I made my first century break and at
13, I started winning junior tournaments. I
won the Welsh Youth tournament at 14 and then
realised that it would be my career. It is hard
work and not just about turning up and playing.
People don’t realise how hard it is. They see
you on television and think it’s like that all
When I was younger, Stephen Hendry and Jimmy
White were my heroes. Stephen Hendry was always
a winner and I really admired him. We are good
mates now and it’s strange to think that he
was my hero and now we get on really well.
Winning my first professional tournament in
Scotland, the Regal Masters, was very special.
Winning the Benson and Hedges Masters in Wembley
was the biggest tournament. It’s great when
you know that you’ve potted the ball and it’s
You try to blank out the lows in the game. One
low was when I lost in the World Final when
I was well ahead. I lost 18-16 and that was
from the top:
Stick at it and believe in yourself. Believe,
practise hard and enjoy it! If you don’t enjoy
it, then don’t do it! Don’t be pressurised by
anyone else. Work on your weak points to improve