SNOOKER legend Jimmy White showcased his skills at Bromsgrove Unionist Club this evening, taking on eight players at the venue.
But it did not get off to the best of starts for The Whrlwind, who has won 23 professional titles. He was beaten in his opening match by the first competitor Rob Randall.
Rob said: “It was phenomenal to even play him and amazing to beat him.
“Just being in the same room as him was a dream.
“Usually I don’t drink when I play matches but I had a couple of beers to steady my nerves.”
He added he thought it was definitely best to play him first.
And that proved to be the case as he brushed aside the next few opponents, which included a devastating display against Gary Ormsby.
After fortunately potting a red from the break, Jimmy went on to notch up a 116-break with Gary not even making it to the table.
But the six times World Championship finalist, who had been enjoying some light-hearted friendly banter with those watching as well as those facing him, let Gary have a go at potting the black – which he, in turn, missed by millimetres.
There were no hard feelings following the encounter.
“For me, he’s the greatest player the World has ever seen – he’s always been my hero and always will be,” said Gary.
Darren Crossley, 36, has terminal cancer which began in his bowel and spread to his lungs and brain. He has been told he has only months, rather than years, to live and, being a life-long snooker fan, was able to fulfil a lifelong ambition of his with a match against Jimmy.
“I have been playing since I was 13 and competing at league division one level until recently when I have had to slow down.
“I was absolutely gobsmacked when I was told I would be playing Jimmy and really overwhelmed when I took to the table against him.”
Jimmy told The Standard: “I love coming to clubs like this where you have proper fans with proper tables that they really do look after.
“And by the look of some of the players here, I would say they’ve got a pretty good team.”
Jimmy is currently 66th in the World and will be trying again in April to win that elusive World Championship he has not yet managed.
The event was organised by Glyn Thomas with the help of Darren Oakes who also both took on The Whirlwind.
Glyn said: “It has been great to play Jimmy White here in front of my family and friends – it really has been a lifetime opportunity and a great night.”
More than 50 packed into the room to watch the action live around the table while others enjoyed the snooker on a screen in the bar.
Compere Steve Venn said: “The only chance to beat him was in the first frame – after that he was simply amazing.”
The Whirlwind shares some good-natured banter with those watching as he goes to take his shot.
Some of the members followed the action on a screen in the bar.