OPINION: Snooker is Sheffield

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I RECALL quite vividly one conversation I had with a very influential city leader as I took up my tenure as Sheffield Star Editor back in October last year.

Snooker is a vanity project for the unimaginative, she said. As far as Sheffield is concerned, its reputation would be better enhanced if it stepped away from what is essentially a hobby played out in smoky working-men’s clubs.

Far from enhance the city’s appeal on the world stage, hosting the snooker at Sheffield’s prestigious Crucible simply underlines that Sheffield hasn’t moved on from the 70s, she said.

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I was gobsmacked. At this point I should declare an interest: I have a soft spot for working men’s clubs having many a mis-spent hour of youth within their walls. I also love the snooker.

As far as I’m concerned, that a deal has been struck securing the showcase event until 2017 is great news.

Having the world’s media providing a global portal right into the heart of Sheffield is only a good thing. We’ve so much to offer that letting people see it, even for just a few days and weeks is key. I say well done to the snooker deal-makers.

by James Mitchinson, Editor