Hoping for a big break

Winter Garden snooker exhibition: Steve Goodison with his image of Jimmy White ' one of the 147 men.            Picture: Stuart Hastings
Winter Garden snooker exhibition: Steve Goodison with his image of Jimmy White ' one of the 147 men. Picture: Stuart Hastings
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HE’S snooker loopy is artist Steve Goodison.

The 40-year-old Mosborough man has been watching the World Championships at Sheffield Crucible since he was a lad but this year he’s hoping one or two players might go and take a look at him in action.

Steve Goodison's image of Nigel Bond

Steve Goodison's image of Nigel Bond

For his drawings of some of the game’s most legendary characters are to be exhibited at the Winter Garden, in Tudor Square, to celebrate this year’s tournament kicking (or perhaps that should be breaking) off this weekend.

Ignoring the colours and using just black and white, he has crafted a stunning pencil portrait of each of the only six players to ever score a maximum 147 break at the venue.

They will be placed around the attraction as part of the second ever Cue Zone exhibition there – a Sheffield City Council organised event which includes mini-games, trophies on show, player meetings and a range of billboards detailing the game’s history.

“I’ve been fascinated by the sport my whole life,” says Steve, a print designer by trade. “And I’ve always thought anyone who makes a 147 is incredibly gifted so this is my tribute to them really.”

Steve Goodison's image of Ronnie O'Sullivan

Steve Goodison's image of Ronnie O'Sullivan

And if snooker, as the legendary British player Joe Davis famously said, is a game of simple shots played to perfection, an art critic might say these pictures are simple drawings crafted to the same standard.

They are of Cliff Thorburn who made the first 147 there in 1983, Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O’Sullivan, who has notched three, Mark Williams and Ali Carter.

“I’m hoping a couple of the players might come down and sign them,” says Steve who has garnered some local recognition for his ‘Village People’ collection – a set of portraits of famous Sheffielders such as Joe Cocker and Alex Turner which can be seen in various city pubs including The Washington, in Fitzwilliam Street, and the Sheffield Tap, in Sheaf Street.

“I’m very proud of the city and I think it’s a real honour to have the World Championships here every year, so I wanted to commemorate that,” he adds. “Long may the tournament stay here.”

Steve Goodison's image of Stephen Hendry

Steve Goodison's image of Stephen Hendry

And his favourite current player?

Well it’s someone he’s drawn, as it goes.

“I love Ronnie O’Sullivan – I think he’s a real character and it’s always exciting when he’s on the table,” he says.

“That’s who I think will win – and who I want to win.

Steve Goodison's image oif Ali Carter

Steve Goodison's image oif Ali Carter

“If I could get him to sign a picture I’d be over the moon.”

The cue zone exhibition – including a Street Snooker game outside the Winter Gardens – launches Saturday and runs to Monday, May 2.

Steve Goodison's image of Cliff Thorburn

Steve Goodison's image of Cliff Thorburn