Iron Maiden halt world tour so drummer can fly to Sheffield to watch world snooker final

Nicko McBrain in the audience at the Crucible for the Betfred World Championships (Photo: PA)
Nicko McBrain in the audience at the Crucible for the Betfred World Championships (Photo: PA)
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Legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden have been forced to postpone their world tour so their drummer can fly into Sheffield for the World Snooker Championship final.

Iron Maiden are currently in Germany as part of their The Book Of Souls world tour and played the second of two dates in Frankfurt last night.

However, the band will now have the Bank Holiday weekend off so drummer Nicko McBrain can watch the world snooker final at The Crucible.

The 64-year-old drummer told his manager Ron Smallwood that he would only do the tour if he could have the Bank Holiday weekend off.

After watching the thrilling climax to the tournament in Sheffield, McBrain will fly back to Hamburg to join his band at the Barclaycard Arena on Tuesday.

McBrain will be joining other fans as they watch defending champion Mark Selby face John Higgins in the final in a repeat of their 2007 clash.

The drummer said: "My manager said to us last year when we were halfway through our tour that we’d be doing a three-month jaunt this year to finish off - with a British tour and a proper American tour and a handful of European shows.

“I said, ‘Well, all right mate, there’s one condition: I have to have the Bank Holiday weekend off - the Sunday and Monday’.

“He moaned at me a little bit and said, ‘Let me think about it’. But bless his heart, true to his word, Rod arranged that we’d have a gig Saturday night in Germany, and I’m going to fly back Saturday after the show to Luton.

“I’ve got a car picking me up and driving me up to the hotel round the corner from the Crucible. Then I’m staying Sunday and Monday and I have to get back out for our last European shows on the Tuesday.

"So I’ll have to leave early morning on the Tuesday which might be a bit of a chore.”

Florida-based McBrain considers his previous Crucible visits, in 2014 and 2015, as among the greatest privileges that celebrity status have brought him.

"It was a stunning experience for me, and to be in the inner sanctum was even more special," he told the Press Association.

"Snooker is in our DNA as British people. Stephen Fry's a massive fan.

"I know Ronnie (Wood, of the Rolling Stones) likes to have a snooker table with him when they go on tour. He's a massive fan."

McBrain will be back in Sheffield with the rest of Iron Maiden on Wednesday, May 10 when they play the Sheffield Arena.