One of the biggest misconceptions about snooker today is that ‘there aren’t any characters in the game.’

This is usually trotted out by people who have never spent any time on the circuit. If they had, they would know there are plenty of characters, not to say a fair number of eccentrics, among snooker’s travelling circus.

On Monday, Michael Holt was beaten 9-6 by Ronnie O’Sullivan. It was a disappointment because he knew he had a chance to win.

The Chris Evans show on BBC Radio 2 wanted to speak to him and he waited patiently at the venue for more than two hours to take part in the interview.

Evans was so taken with Holt that he immediately invited him back on yesterday’s show.

It takes players like Holt to put themselves out to assist the media and World Snooker in promoting the sport. Most players are helpful in this regard. Indeed, the relationship between press and players is generally very good.

However, shifting perceptions that snooker is a sport populated by robotic automatons isn’t easy.

What doesn’t help is the insistence of World Snooker that players should not say anything remotely controversial.

Graeme Dott said he didn’t like Ian McCulloch back launching the Grand Prix in August. It was the sort of meaningless spat that happens pretty much every day in football but Dott has now been threatened with disciplinary action.

If the players aren’t allowed to stray beyond some carefully crafted corporate image, how are their personalities supposed to come to the fore?

No comments: