Comment – The Crucible’s Legacy to Snooker will Live On…

Comment – The Crucible’s Legacy to Snooker will Live On…

The Crucible’s Legacy will ALWAYS Live on Even When Snooker Isn’t There Anymore…

The Crucible. Tears, sweat, joy, frustration since 1977.

Having read and listened to the arguments, The Crucible’s support of snooker since 1977 has been pivotal in creating a spotlight for the sport, particularly at a time of the year when other sports compete for TV coverage.

18.5 million watched in 1985 as Dennis Taylor defeated Steve Davis in that iconic moment when he potted the black and he went over after to kiss the famous lady on the trophy.

If snooker does leave the Theatre of Dreams, it would be a fitting tribute to have a few weeks in that final time where every aspect of the game is celebrated in the home of snooker in Sheffield.

This could comprise of the top players from the WDBS, WWS, EPSB,WSF & others all having events held at the venue that somehow could be televised, as well as live-streamed.

The Crucible has been a character in its own right since 1977.

It’s not just people who need to be appreciated, but places – The Crucible has been like a character in its own right – providing joy, sadness, anxiety, frustration, controversy, and, of course, elation and the odd tussle…to players and fans.

When you take the fun and enjoyment out of sport, even at professional level, it’s sad times we’re living in as The Crucible provides all that and more – not just for the fans.

You will never get any other venue that can mirror that…

Mark Selby even made comments alluding to that fact when he said he was considering retiring because he was finding it difficult to find the enjoyment. Ronnie has said similar before in the past.

You might be able to take snooker away from The Crucible, but you will never be able to take The Crucible away from snooker as it will always be in people’s hearts and minds.

Even when snooker leaves the iconic venue, its legacy lives on.

The Nap was a play that was also showcased at the venue, and promoted the sport.

Here’s a teaser from an article from The Guardian on The Nap…

I’m not an obvious target audience for The Nap. Snooker is not my sport nor Sheffield my city, and I’d feared a “nap” of the non-snooker variety might threaten in a comedy dedicated to both. But Richard Bean’s smart play is crammed with eccentric entertainment, and I was potted (can this be the verb?) from the first. Director Richard Wilson, at the top of his form, and nifty designer James Cotterill exploit the Crucible’s other incarnation as host to the annual Snooker World championship.

But it’s in an inferior venue that we first meet Dylan Spokes (convincing Jack O’Connell), local snooker star. He reverentially inspects the baize table, stroking it like a favoured pet (with and against the “nap”). Wan and imperfectly socialised, Dylan has one GCSE, no girlfriend and Bobby – a liability of a father (outrageously funny Mark Addy). Stout, innumerate and verbally challenged (when he forgot the word “banana”, he looked it up on the Ocado website), he patrols the joint, repeating: “What a dump.” It’s a mini masterclass in comic timing. He has brought along a prawn sandwich (Dylan is a vegetarian). “I don’t eat owt wi’ a brain,” he asserts, to which Bobby responds: “They’re prawns, they’re not novelists.” A few jokes in, and you remember Bean is a safely unsafe pair of hands.

Ironically, the gloves have come off in the 2024 staging of the World Snooker Championships.

Players saying it smelt.

Players saying it should move.

Bosses demanding bigger and better.

Money vs Heritage and Nostalgia.

Knocking down or keeping it. Moving it to foreign climbs. Yeah, whatever, The Crucible is the Crucible. It has become a major tourist attraction since 77 for some at this time of year.

The quaint little sideshows where you can pick up Crucible merchandise, like a mouse pad, a mug, or a keyring. The atmosphere of standing out in the rain watching the snooker on the Big TV. The pub opposite, where you might just bump into a famous face (or two). The CueZone, where you can watch some people pick up a cue for the first time and have a Gold Medal put over their necks for taking part – beaming with a smile.

What would The Crucible look like from the air? I wonder?

The hotels, where you can see Rob Walker in his shorts.

Or meet a famous referee in the lift.

Or the BIG BREAKFAST you can eat at the hotel – with just a banana for lunch.

Watching the people go by from The Cathedral when sitting down and meditating after wandering around the venue.

Sensing that at 1PM the bell might ring, and Rob Walker, prances out onto the Crucible stage, microphone in hand, making his opening lines very Crucible-related.

“Ladies and Gents, let’s get the boys, on the baize.” (sadly, there’s no women)…

Will we ever see a woman compete in the final stages of the World Snooker Championships. Sadly, I don’t think it will happen.

Six-times World Champion Steve Davis said this back in the day in 2014 when Mark Selby won his first World title…

Steve Davis does not expect to ever see a woman compete in the final stages of the World Snooker Championship.

The six-time world champion, who was 56 in 2014, believes the “obsessive” nature of men for an “absolutely irrelevant” activity gives them an advantage.

“The male of the species has got a single-minded, obsessional type of brain that I don’t think so many females have,” he told BBC World Service’s Sports Hour.

Cheeky…

The women’s game has come on in leaps and bounds with professionals such as Reanne Evans, Rebecca Kenna, Mink Nutcharut, Bai YuLu.

But sadly – The Crucible may never see a lady compete in the final stages of the main World Snooker Championships?

Tessa Davidson will take to the stage in this year’s World Seniors at The Crucible as the World Seniors Champion on the Women’s Tour, but, that is not the same as seeing a woman compete in the main tour World Snooker Championships.

We will miss it if it goes.

Because the World Championships is not just about The Crucible. Or Sheffield. Or snooker players. It’s about human beings. Friends. People celebrating together, coming together for the common good of the sport.

And The Crucible provides that and more.

Long live the place – with or without snooker.

#Sportisforall.

 

 

 

 

Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!