My Life - By Andy Hicks
StBlazeySnooker | On 28, Feb 2013
Here at St Blazey Snooker online, we are always on the lookout for new articles and exclusive features. I can rightly say that we are honoured to be getting a huge input from Snooker Professional and qualified coach Andy Hicks.
Andy has agreed to write a series of articles documenting his career, his thoughts and life behind the scenes as a snooker professional. We caught up with him recently at his cluv in Crackington Haven, North Cornwall to speak with him and get an EXCLUSIVE photoshoot. (below at foot of page)
Part 1 – The Early Years
Playing snooker on my 6×3 table in my parents back living room watching the snooker on the tv at the same time. i would be semi thinking that i was actually there at the crucible playing whilst potting the balls on this little table.
Also beating my bad tempered friend so much that he would storm out of the house slamming the door behind him.
As for my school days well they consisted of getting home as quickly as i could to get changed so i could get up the local snooker club in Tavistock by 5pm to play for about 2 hours.Very thankfull to my dad for giving me the money in order to play most nights.
This was the game for me as i lived every minute and day for. My dad used to drive me on in every way to the point where we would talk about snooker all the time so much so that my sister got so fedup that she wrote a poem about TALKING SNOOKER. and then putting it up on the living room wall.
There was one morning when i got up for school got changed went down for quick breakfast and then picked up my school bag and rushed out the door. I was about 50 yards down the street when suddenly i realised that it wasnt my bag. It was my snooker cue. Totally true.
“Dad used to take me down every wednesday evening to the pot black club where i would play Andy Snell who was probably in the top ten of the amateur rankings at the time. Great great player who was slow and methodical. We would play 6 til 8 and manage to get about 6 frames in if we were lucky where he would beat me 5 to 6 nil every week with out fail.”.
Little things i remember are making my first 40 break against Derek Walker who coached me from the age of 12 to 15 great bloke who still loves the game and is currenty running the Belgrave snooke club in Plymouth where i sometimes practice.
I then just turned 13 when making my first hundred break 101 against Ian Cook from what was called the pot black snooker club in Plymouth. Also making my first 147 at the age of 15 and one month.
And when getting the bus home i was so excited to tell my dad that when i was running from the bus down my street to get to the house i remember a dog running out of a house and attacked my leg which frightened the life out of me.
When i got home i told my dad and he said to me well done im going to ring up the local papers to let them know. So i replied why. And dad said to me. Listen son making a 147 is a great achievment and you might not ever make another one for the rest of you life.
Well you can imagine my look of horror when replying DONT BE SO STUPID OF COURSE I’LL MAKE ANOTHER ONO. Needless to say it took me only 3 weeks to make my second.And what with now the last count which is 285 maximums i think iv made my point to my dad bless him.
Dad used to take me down every wednesday evening to the pot black club where i would play Andy Snell who was probably in the top ten of the amateur rankings at the time.
Great great player who was slow and methodical. We would play 6 til 8 and manage to get about 6 frames in if we were lucky where he would beat me 5 to 6 nil every week with out fail.
I would get so down hearted loosing week after week whilst my dad sleeping in the chair by about 6.45 when being tiered from working all day. But gradually over time i would start pinching the odd frame or two until finally one evening i managed to beat him 5.2. Im telling you it felt like i had just won the world championship.
Part 2 – The Early Years
Achievment days as an amatuer
Here are some of the tournaments that meant something to me as an amatuer.
- Firstly winning the turkey trot open in Tavistock when i was 12 years old. The feeling of holding this turkey above my head which incidently i could barely lift was amazing.It was like i was the best player in the world.
- Winning the pontins star of the future at 14 years old.I was in great company winning this as the likes of Ronnie O Sullivan Mark Williams Matthew Stevens And Paul Hunter all have there name on this trophy.
- Winning the Plymouth And District Individual five years in a row from the age of 13 to 17 and then turning pro.
- And then what i class as my best achievment was winning the British Under 19s at the age of 17 beating John Higgins on the way in the last 8.
Well thats enough of blowing my own trumpet.All i can say is they were great times looking back where snooker seemed to be so much of my life as a kid.
I remember at the age of 15 i was taking my exams when i had to make a choice weather to play the last of the three major amatuer tournaments where i was ranked at about 35 after the first two.This would mean missing two of my final exams at school.
But after the tournament if i were to get into the top 28 i could have turned pro at the age of 15.Anyway i did miss my exams which i am not proud of but thats how much snooker meant to me.
I went and lost first round and didnt qualify to be pro that year.
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