Question time: Mitchell Travis chats to Dom Howson

Sheffield snooker starlet Mitchell Travis.
Sheffield snooker starlet Mitchell Travis.
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Mitchell, aged 22, is an amateur Sheffield snooker player. He recently reached the last 32 of the UK Championship, causing one of the biggest shocks in the tournament’s history by defeating world number nine Marco Fu in the first round. Away from the table, Mitchell practices and works behind the bar at Hallamshire Proprietary Bowling Club as well as at a call centre in Broomhill. He hopes to turn pro next year.

What have you been doing today?

I have been off work today so I have just been practicing.

Who is your inspiration and why?

My grandad Terry. He taught me how to hold a cue and pot balls so I will always be grateful to him.

Which sports star did you admire when you were growing up?

John Higgins. He is going to be at the top of the game for years to come. He’s not got as much natural ability as a Stephen Hendry, Alex Higgins or a Ronnie O’Sullivan but he is so determined.

What’s your favourite (other) sport?

I love to have a game of table tennis. I used to play a lot when I was at school so I like to think I am a bit handy!

Who is your most famous person in your phone?

Mark Selby or Jimmy White. Mark shook my hand and congratulated me after my result against Marco in the UK’s which was very nice of him.

When was the last time you cried?

After I beat Marco, my grandad grabbed me, picked me up and hugged me. That brought a few tears to my eye. I had never seen my grandad run so quickly!

Who or what are you most proud of?

My grandad. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

Instead of going out like other kids when I was at school, my mum would advice me to get on with my work. She said ‘you don’t want to end up in a dead end job.’

When did you know you were good at what you do?

When I was four or five years old, my grandad made a video of me playing snooker. I was getting pretty good then and he said he was going to sell that DVD in the future! He saw then that I had the talent to pot balls.

What one item do you take with you wherever you go?

Before the UK’s, my dad’s wife Tracey gave me a little sixpence coin. I beat Marco and Kurt Maflin so it brought me a little bit of luck. I plan on taking that everywhere I go from now on.

What is the most nervous you’ve ever been?

When I went out in the arena to face Kurt. It was on TV and was the biggest crowd I had played in front of. I didn’t want to trip up over any of the TV wires as I went to go sit in my chair!

Do you ever doubt yourself?

Never. I put the work in to do the job that I am doing. I am a positive person. If you think you are going to miss a pot, the chances are that you will.

What is your view on social networks like Twitter and Facebook?

I use Facebook quite a lot but I’m not on Twitter. They are good ways in which to keep in touch with other snooker players or friends.

How do you relax away from sport?

At the snooker club! It is my life. If I’m not at home sleeping, I am at work socialising with people.

Where was your last holiday – and would you go again?

I went to Alicante, Spain, for a week with my ex-girlfriend back in August. It was not too hot which was good.

Do you cook?

I know how to order a take-away! I don’t cook. I live with my grandparents. My nan does all the cooking. She makes a lovely shepherd’s pie.

What was the last book you read?

I am currently reading Jimmy White’s autobiography: Behind The White Ball:

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you do?

If snooker doesn’t work out, I would like to go to University and get some qualifications.

Favourite TV programme?

I tend to watch any sport on TV such as cricket or football.