In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – a long and mainly dull new film starring Brad Pitt – the titular character lives his life backwards, starting as an old man and ending up as a baby.

In snooker, very few players improve as they get older but maybe there’s something of the Jenson, sorry, Benjamin Button about Dave Harold, who, at the age of 42, is poised to return to the top 16.

Make no mistake, this would be some achievement.

Dave looked to be in serious trouble when he slipped to 45th in the world rankings after missing five tournaments during the 2004/05 season after breaking his wrist.

But he’s a hard worker of the old school and grafted his way back into the top 32.

After reaching the Northern Ireland Trophy final this season, he shot into the top 16 on the provisional list.

He’s now 17th but has qualified for the Welsh and China Opens and looks set for a return to the elite if he makes it to the Crucible.

Good luck to him. He’s one of snooker’s hard men and his dedication to the game is absolute.

The Stoke potter has a strange cue action in that he barely ‘feathers’ the cue ball. This means he is naturally slower than many of his fellow professionals but you don’t get extra points for speed and, with over 100 career centuries to his name, he can’t just be dismissed as a grinder.

You can listen to Dave talking to BBC Stoke here.


Anonymous said...

I love to see the oldies give the young guns a run for their money. Good luck to Dave, I hope he makes it.

Matt@PSB said...

Hopefully he'll perform better than he did in the Championship League last week, not quite sure what happened there!

Dave H said...

What was interesting about that was the way he fought tooth and nail to win the last two frames of his last match when many younger players would have long since given up

Anonymous said...

good to see you reiterate the games not about speed.

too many ROS fans seem to think thats what makes a player good, when it isnt (it may make them prefer to watch him)

good luck dave. nice guy, hard worker and one of the top 32 players in the last 15 years or so IN THE WORLD. that is a great achievement in perpective of how many play the sport

Matt@PSB said...

Yeah I noticed that Dave repeatedly came back to the table when needing a couple of snookers, despite having no chance of qualifying or even taking anything from the match. Whether that was down to financial reasons or pure professional pride I'm not sure but it's good to see.

Not too surprised by Dave's form recently though, I went to watch his match against Stephen Hendry at the UK Championship in York in 2006 and I thought then that he looked to be in decent shape. Good to see that he has pushed on further.

Anonymous said...

Players like Dave and Fergal will always outplay the young out and out potters if there long game is a little off. THey play proper matchplay snooker of a type that wins few titles but many matches.
This is the style of play that can keep players near the top into their 40s and beyond!

Anonymous said...

Good luck to Dave. A model pro who will reap the rewards of his efforts and dedication.

Some "professionals" could learn a lot from him.