Dream start for Stephen

Stephen Harrison's disability snooker championship.
Stephen Harrison's disability snooker championship.
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Former professional snooker player Stephen Harrison has a dream.

Stephen, founder of the Sheffield-based Snooker Academy, has staged the UK Wheelchair Snooker Championships in the city to coincide with the World Championships at the Crucible.

The competition at the Green Room Snooker Centre in High Green, was played in memory of Stephen’s father Ray who was world paraplegic snooker champion gold medallist in 1985.

And the contest was just for starters.

Stephen explained: “This showcase event is the beginning of my dream to reintroduce snooker back into the paralympics. Snooker should be accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

“I aim to stage many events across the UK with the first tournament held in Sheffield.

“I think there should be events for disabled snooker players to enter as I know when I was growing up as a child, watching my dad play snooker, it brought him so much pleasure to show off his snooker skills while playing in events all over the world.

“He used to tell me how much enjoyment it gave him competing against other players and also teaching other people how to play the game.

“He said it kept him mentally strong and gave him self-belief in everyday life.

“This is only the beginning – we have a plan.

“I have met with a number of organisations including World Snooker chairman Jason Ferguson who wants to get behind the idea.

“We have planned a national disability snooker event to take place in September and I will be meeting again with the other parties to push for the sport of snooker to be back in the paralympics.”

Mick Langley, who won the paralympic gold medal the last time the sport featured in the paralympics, in Seoul in 1988, said: “It’s great what Steve’s doing for disability snooker, and as a player I would like more tournaments.

“I think what Steve is doing for the game is fantastic.”