“Crafty” Irishman Ken Doherty denied the King of the Crucible Stephen Hendry his sixth World title, which would have been a record six in a row for the Scottish snooker sensation.
But, although Ken won the title for the first time and appeared in two more, he said his form going into the 1997 tournament wasn’t great.
In a video interview with the Darling of Dublin, with Dave Lewis of Pro-Am Snooker UK on Facebook, Doherty explained how his career had developed, what he had done prior to lifting the World title, and, also, a revealing tale about how much his snooker cue cost that won him both pro and amateur titles.
Doherty explains a lot in his book Life in the Frame.
Life in the Frame is well worth a read if you’re an avid fan of the Dubliner, now 50.
With a pro career spanning 40 years, he has some tales to tell.
In the video interview with Dave Lewis, he explained that in 1997 he was struggling to maintain his top 16 place, and he needed to win his first match in the Worlds to secure his place.
Never did he think he would win the entire event, but once he got past the quarters, he thought this was his best chance.
When he won the title, he was greeted back home in Ireland to a hero’s welcome. He had the open-top bus with the trophy, similar to what footballers have when they’ve won the Premier League titles or even European titles. Liverpool comes to mind here.
But, Doherty was brought right back down to earth a year later against John Higgins, when he lost the following year in the final.
He had to go home in a taxi.
He added: “If you want to know what the difference is between winning and losing, then there you go.”
But he then said that prior to going into the tournament, he had two weeks of practice with a certain genius Ronnie O’Sullivan, both of them in the same club in Ilford.
It both helped them get match sharp for the Worlds.
1997 was the same year O’Sullivan made that incredible 147 break in 5mins and 20 seconds (now revised to 5mins 8 seconds in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Ken said he had been practicing with the Rocket since he had been a wee lad, 12, and Ken’s knowledge and expertise in his craft had served the young Rocket well.
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However, Ken revealed he had found someone’s cue in a rack at the snooker club, he knew it wasn’t a rack cue and went on to buy it off the owner.
How much did it cost him?
Well, you’ll just have to watch the interview in full to find out.
But Ken has a good tip for players looking to buy a snooker cue.
He said if you pick up a cue and it feels comfortable for you, then forget about the price.
See also the SnookerZone EXCLUSIVE COACHING INTERVIEW we did with Irish WPBSA Level 2 snooker coach Fin Ruane.
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Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years’ experience writing for the web.
He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!