I realise journalists are supposed to be impartial but I’d like to wish my Eurosport commentary colleague Mike Hallett good luck for this afternoon when he takes part in the semi-finals of the latest PIOS event at Prestatyn.

Some people question why the stars of yesteryear carry on playing. For instance, James Wattana and Kirk Stevens are in the forthcoming IBSF world amateur championship.

But why shouldn’t they? Snooker has run through their blood since boyhood. If they can still play to a standard that satisfies them then I see no reason why they should stop.

Look at Steve Davis. He is not the player he was but good enough to reach the quarter-finals of the last two ranking events.

The notion that players should retire the minute their form starts to slip is not one I subscribe to.

Put simply: if you enjoy doing something then carry on doing it. Who is it hurting?

Mike’s run to the semis also demonstrates that those who blithely dismiss the players of the 1980s and early 90s don’t know what they're talking about.

At 49, he is still capable of producing a standard necessary to compete on what is a very competitive secondary circuit.

He is rather unfairly remembered for losing the 1991 Wembley Masters final 9-8 to Stephen Hendry from 8-2 up.

Think of all the hundreds and hundreds of professional players there have been. Only 45 have won a ranking event, in Mike’s case the 1989 Hong Kong Open.

He won the 1991 Scottish and Belgian Masters – two high quality invitation tournaments – and occupied a highest ranking of sixth.

He was also Hendry’s partner in the last World Doubles Championship in 1987 and for the doubles in the 1991 World Masters, both of which they won.

I’m pleased to see Mike is still enjoying playing after all these years and the fact that he has beaten so many younger players this week shows he can, on his day, still compete.


Matt@PSB said...

Noticed this earlier when I was doing my PIOS roundup, when was the last time he went so far in one of these events? Tried to look back through the GSC archives earlier but their records for 2005/6 aren't working :(

Also, has the match between Carrington and Rowlings finished yet? 4-3 to Stephen the last time I looked.

Janie Watkins said...

This is Mike's best run - and we'll keep youup to date with scores on GSC and on the GSC forum, where you can read about Mike's DRAMATIC black ball win against Lee Page.

I'm off now to impartially cheer him on in the semis!

Dave H said...

I got chapter and verse from the man himself, Janie

Talk about drama!

Matt@PSB said...

Thanks for that Janie, would have loved to have seen it!

Guess that means that he won't be commentating on the Premier League tonight :D

Janie Watkins said...

well I could turn the tables and do commentary on his semi, but I'm afraid it wasn't desparately pretty viewing in the first two frames.

The other semi is pretty good though as Steadman has already rattled in 100 and 65 but Jamie was level at the interval.

Matt@PSB said...

Mike into the final, great stuff.

Anonymous said...

I used to like Hallett in my teenage years. I was gutted for him when he lost the Masters to Hendry (he made a fantastic total clearance in frame 1 from Hendry's break-off to state his intentions). I switched off at 7-2 because I thought it was all over and had a paper-round the next morning. When I delivered the papers there it was in the local (and therefore latest to print) paper the Western Daily Press on the back page and in huge letters "HALLETT HORROR"!

The year he lost to Steve Davis 9-0 in the final he won the deciding frame against John Parrott in the semi-final from requiring 3 snookers. Parrott had punched the air in delight earlier thinking he'd won and Hallett brought a lot of pleasure to some of us to shove it back in his face!

The other memory that sticks in my mind whenever I hear his name mentioned is crispy duck. The reason being that Pot Black magazine had player profile posters in the centre pages which I put on my bedroom wall. I always read it as "crispy dunk" and only years later did I learn of the real dish and its correct name!

Anonymous said...

I should add that the profile section in question was "favourite food" :-)