Dronfield’s Oliver Brown will compete at a major snooker tournament this week as some of the world’s best players battle it out for a £32,000 top prize.
Oliver, aged 22, the UK’s number one amateur player, has qualified for the World Snooker Shootout in Watford, a 10-minute frame knockout event which sees 128 of the best players around take part.
Brown, who is sponsored by Sheffield prestige car dealership John Holland, started playing snooker aged 10 after visiting his local club with his father. He travelled yesterday to compete in the tournament, which starts today at the Watford Colosseum, and is being broadcast live on ITV4.
The talented amateur has already beaten world stars such as Ding Junhui, Jamie Cope, Nigel Bond and Ken Doherty in his career to date, and will face world number 80 Liam Highfield in the first round.
Brown said: “I’m really excited to get going now. I’ve beaten some great players already in my career and it would be my dream to turn professional.
“I first started playing at my local club aged 10 and since then I’ve not stopped. I’ve started to play full-time and I want it to be my job now. I’ve watched this tournament for the last four or five years, I’ve dreamt of competing – and finally here I am about to take part.
“The fact that I’ve got sponsorship through John Holland as well gives me more confidence. It takes a bit of the pressure off and as a result you can express yourself more and hopefully perform better.
“My family have been with me all along, they’ve supported my every move so now that I’ve got more backing from John Holland it makes it even better – hopefully I can do everyone proud.”
Tony Entwistle, general manager at John Holland, said: “We’re delighted to see Oliver compete against some of the finest snooker players in the world.
“He’s a great lad and it’s brilliant to support such a talented, hard-working young sportsman as he aims to become one of the best players around.
“We look forward to seeing Oliver’s development in the future.”