GREEN baize legend Jimmy White has hailed snooker’s rising star Judd Trump has his deadly doppleganger.
The “Whirlwind” is a massive fan of Trump and delighted for the young gun’s remarkable fairytale run to the Betfred.com World Championship final.
And the six-time Crucible finalist is hoping the 21-year-old can go one step better than he ever did and triumph on snooker’s greatest stage by beating triple world champion John Higgins in the best-of-35 frame showcase.
“It is a bit unnerving watching Judd play sometimes, as he does remind me so much of myself when I first came in to the professional game,” revealed White.
“It’s not just the left-hander thing, I was a very attacking player at his age and went for shots other people didn’t - and made a few along the way. But Judd’s safety game is far better than mine when I was his age.
“The remarkable thing about Trump is the pattern that is emerging when you look at the players capturing the public’s imagination with their flair and way of playing.
“Maybe there’s a cycle or a pattern that keeps repeating itself, there has to be someone out there playing like that. The late, great Alex Higgins was the first People’s Champion, and he was 14 years older than me who became the next one.
“Ronnie O’Sullivan inherited the mantle next, he is 14 years younger than me, and Trump is 14 years younger than Ronnie.
“Maybe that means out there somewhere is a seven-year-old who needs to get practising, as they could be the next one to bring crowds to their feet. It’s a huge coincidence.”
Trump fought back from behind to beat Chinese cueman Ding Junhui 17-15 in Saturday’s semi-finals, while Higgins dumped out two-time winner Mark Williams with a 17-14 victory.
Although Higgins is favourite to win his fourth Crucible title, White believes current crowd-pleaser Trump can upset the Scot.
“Judd has been phenomenal in this tournament, having not even qualified for three years and struggled initially to live up to all the hype,” added White.
“He can win the world championship, if he doesn’t find the night clubs like I did he’ll definitely win it one year. I don’t think he’ll get too carried away with it all, he’s got a good man in his corner handling him, if he stays with one manager and enjoys it and keeps learning, he’ll be a top player.”
Trump has established a healthy l0-7 lead in the final. Coming into the match, Trump had said: “I’m not going to beat him at his own game. I’m not going to ‘out-safety’ him.
“I’ve got to go out there and keep my potting like I have been and just play my own game and not get dragged into trying to beat him at safety.”
He kept to his word, attacking everything, and while he occasionally missed, Trump was mostly clinical and always entertaining. Some of his long pots were jaw-dropping and he claimed the final three frames of the evening session to move a giant step closer to the title.
An out of sorts Higgins was also fined £250 for conceding the 16th frame with enough points left on the table to force a respotted black.