DAVID LILLEY was crowned Rokit World Seniors Champion over the weekend.
The 45-year-old potter from the North East, who made it as a pro after 30 years, managed to beat the six-times World finalist Jimmy White, who at the age of 59 is still competing to a high level on the World stage.
Lilley said after in an emotional speech.
“I don’t know what to say at moment, I’m a bit overwhelmed.”
When asked how he managed to hold himself together in the last frame with a break of 69, knowing that he was about win a trophy at the Theatre of Dreams The Crucible against a Legend Jimmy White, Lilley said:
“I just went back to basics really. Walked into the shot, made sure the head was still and paused on the final backswing, otherwise if I hadn’t I would have probably fallen apart.”
But, it was Lilley who came out of the blocks confidently in the first three frames, including a break of 74 as Jimmy was slow off the block.
However, after the mid-session interval, White showed some of his vintage and knocked in a terrific 85 to at least get a frame on the board.
It was a similar pattern to last year’s World Seniors with White being 4 – 0 down to Irishman Ken Doherty, who then lost all five frames as White claimed his third World seniors title.
However, this time, although White levelled at 3 – 3, Lilley won the last two he needed to secure an unbelievable first World title (at Seniors level).
Not only does Lilley pocket 15K, he also gains a spot in the Champion of Champions in November.
Lilley won the English Amateur Championship three times, the first in 1997 and became a pro for the first time in 2019 after progressing through the arduous QSchool events.
Stephen Hendry, who was expecting a lot came up against another Tour player Igor Figuieredo from Brazil, the first player to play at The Crucible.
Hendry didn’t go beyond the quarters.
A FOND FAREWELL TO DENNIS TAYLOR
IN an emotional farewell, DENNIS TAYLOR announced he was retiring from Seniors snooker as he was given an emotional send off with Rob Walker as he got to relive that great moment he won the World title in 1985 where 18.5 million people stayed up to watch the Northern Irishman lift the trophy well past midnight.
He said to Walker: “I’ve had a blessed life in snooker and never did I ever imagine I would become a pro snooker player and win the World title. It was a dream come true.”
He added: “The standard on the Seniors tour is just so high nowadays and you have too put in the hours and I haven’t got the time.”
But he said he still loves doing the commentary in the box with JOHN VIRGO et al and would still be involved at the event which is growing all the time.
SNOOKER HAS BEEN THE WINNER IN 2020/21
MC Rob Walker spoke for everyone of us snooker fans last night as he said that during this tough year during the corona virus pandemic, snooker has been the winner as it has put on no less than 20 events during the crisis and has made people smile and escape the pain of what is happening outside our doors.
It was great to see The Crucible shine in the past weeks as the 2021 Betfred World Championships welcomed back spectators and the roar of the final was sport at its best.
Walker paid tribute to Milton Keynes, which has hosted 90% of the events in the 2020/21 season but said that next season it was time for the players to “get back on the road.”
SnookerZone congratulates David Lilley on a great win.