Happy New Year! Happy 2023!

I’m wishing all of you, and those dear to you, the best for 2023. May this year bring you all happiness, peace of mind, success in your endeavours, and fulfilment.

Also “Happy birthday!” to Snooker Scene.

Clive Everton started it all on January 1, 1971. Last year we almost lost it… but thanks to Nick Metcalfe the magazine lives on and celebrates its 52d birthday today!

And, finally, my “wish list” for 2023 in snooker …

  • A prompt and fair resolution of the match fixing affairs that are currently tarnishing or sport. Culprits must be punished, but more importantly, stronger prevention measures should be put into place to avoid a repetition of this situation in the future. Maybe WPBSA could work more closely with the academies on this aspect? Maybe a specific “help group”, or “help line” involving Chinese and Thai speakers? Players need to feel safe to report any issue they become aware of.
  • More events played under a tiered system, provided that the qualifiers are played right before and at or close to the location of the main event.
  • For those events played under a “flat draw”, no qualifiers. Everyone at the main venue. Put enough tables in operation AND enough practice tables too.
  • Could WPBSA work with other bodies involved in snooker – yes, IBSF too – at all levels to consider the feasibility of a, potentially ELO based, rating system that would be inclusive to professionals and amateurs? Yes I know, I’m dreaming, but, as Lewis has explained on multiple occasions, that would allow to organise events for specific groups of players, without “distorting” the rating system. The current ranking system is too rigid by many aspects.
  • A World title number 8 for Ronnie at 47 … because … well he won’t be playing at 147, won’t he?

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

Today, 25th of December, most Christians celebrate Christmas, although part of the Orthodox community will celebrate it on the 6th of January. This year, the Jewish community also celebrates Hanukkah, from the 18th of December to the 26th of December. And, of course, many non-believers celebrate too because it’s an opportunity to meet family and friends, to share a meal, to have a drink or just to enjoy some good time with people we love.

I explained yesterday that I’m alone on my island at the moment and yesterday evening I decided to just have a walk around the village with my camera. There are very few people around this time of the year. Only one “taverna” was open, and the bakery. Although we have at least a dozen churches in the village, there was no midnight mass. I met countless cats but no human except at the bakery, where Koula, who runs it with Manolis, her husband, knowing that my family is away, invited me for lunch today. We have known Koula and Manolis for nearly 20 years. Their children, and mine, were kids at the time, today I shared the Christmas meal with the whole family, from “Thia Theoni”, Koulas’s mother and the “auntie” for everyone in the village, to her whole tribe of grand-children. I counted 10 of them. That’s how life is still lived here and long may it last. Eucharisto Koula 💖

Anyway… here are the pictures taken yesterday night, No flash, no tripod. Just what caught my eye on the moment and a rare “selfie”

Happy celebrations everyone, enjoy and cherish those moments !

Farewell to a Queen

Queen Elisabeth II died peacefully in her Balmoral residence yesterday afternoon. She was 96 tears old. She was a queen before I was born … and I’m a grand mother. Immediately, all over the Internet, respects were paid, tributes were written, and pictures were shared. Most of those images showed her, smiling, wearing her crown with pride… the only one that was in my mind, was of her, petite, frail, all dressed in black, wearing a mask, alone, mourning her husband, the man she had loved since she was 13. Alone, following the rules while those who set those rules were partying in Downing street. Those were the same people who were now flooding social media with tributes. It angered me beyond words. It saddened me beyond words.

Of course, there were also many thousand of sincere tributes, notably from snooker players, including Ronnie.

Tributes and token of respect came from all over the world. The flags were taken at half mast in front of the European Commission building in Brussels. European countries expressed their solidarity with the UK people and shared their sorrow.

Rest in peace Elisabeth Windsor, Queen, mother, grand-mother, grand-grand-mother … a formidable woman in a male dominated world, a unifying force in a profoundly divided country, a beacon of dignity in the face of a deeply corrupted political class. I hope you are now reunited with your love.

Here is to a happy, healthy and free 2022

The title of this post is telling enough: this is what I’m wishing to every person on this Earth during this year, 2022, and beyond: happiness, good health and freedom.

I wanted some good snooker related news to “support” that mood and here it is:

Seven-time World Women’s Snooker champion Allison Fisher is to become an MBE for her services to sport, as announced in the New Years Honours List published by the UK government on Friday evening.

One of the undisputed all-time greats of our sport, Fisher enjoyed a hugely successful career on the women’s circuit from 1982-1995, claiming an estimated 68* tournament victories – a record that still stands today – including those seven world crowns.

She is one of just 11 players to have held the number one ranking since the introduction of the WWS ranking system in 1983 and was the first player to compile a century break in the World Women’s Championship following her run of 103 on her way to the 1991 title.

During that same year, she also became the first woman to win a professional match when she defeated Sukhbir Grewal at the Dubai Duty Free Classic.

Since leaving the WWS Tour, Fisher has continued to excel at every opportunity during her distinguished cue sports career and World Women’s Snooker has been proud to support this application and see her achievements recognised formally.

Mandy Fisher, WWS President said: “I am thrilled by today’s announcement that is richly deserved following a 40-year career throughout which Allison has continued to be a trailblazer for women in cuesports.

“From her very first tournament back in 1982 her potential was clear for all to see and I have been extremely proud to see her go on to enjoy the success that she has. Allison is a true icon of our sport and I am sure that she will continue to compete at the highest level for many years to come.”

*based on our available records


You will find more about Allison’s career on wikipedia.

Allison also has her own YouTube Channel

Amongst other things there are old snooker footages dating back from the 90th, notably her first televised century, and snippets from exhibition matches against Dennis Taylor and Jimmy White.

Snooker players away from the baize…

Peter Devlin hasn’t really enjoyed much glory on the main tour so far, but was given a great opportunity to show … his showman side whilst helping WST to promote the coming English Open

Here is what he posted on his facebook page today:

Had a brilliant day as the guest at Milton Keynes Dons Stadium MK
Did a few interviews, and performed a rap live in front of just under 10,000 football fans. Standard 😂😂
Massive thanks to World Snooker Tour for giving me this opportunity to help promote the upcoming English Open, and the Snooker Tour in general 😁
Also met John Motson, and was a bit starstruck hearing his standout commentary voice in real life!

Asked by a friend if he enjoyed it, he replied:

(It) was awesome mate! I wish I could have that kind of confidence at snooker! Literally no nerves whatsoever doing that in front of thousands. But put a cue in my hand and different story 😂

Ronnie supports a terminally ill artist and is full of admiration for the positive way he deals with the situation

An award-winning artist is selling his work for charity after being diagnosed with brain cancer and given only months to live.

Antonio Russo from Bovingdon, AKA Stony, who went from being a street graffiti artist to winning global art prizes, is raising money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

The father-of-two, who was diagnosed in 2019, has been producing work with inspirational messages throughout his career and they have been bringing hope to people with cancer.

Snooker star and art lover Ronnie O’Sullivan has become a close friend after buying one of his canvasses.

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Antonio Russo

Mr O’Sullivan said: “He is a great friend to me. When I met him I thought ‘I really like this guy’ – he has a lovely way about him.

We stayed in, starting talking, eating and watching Formula 1.

Now I know his family – his daughter and son. We also come from neighbouring villages in Italy so we share that culture, so there was an Italian connection too.

I love his art. Antonio has his own unique way as an artist and I think it is fantastic.”

Ronnie O’Sullivan with Stony’s canvass

Mr Russo, 56, said: “I’ve been involved in art and music all my life and have been fortunate to travel the world and work with some amazing people.

I stay positive despite my diagnosis and it is fantastic that my work inspires people and helps them through tough times.

In January he was given six to nine months to live but has been on a clinical trial drug which he says he draws great strength from.

My cancer is terminal but I’m the biggest survivor in the world,” he added.

Artist Antonio Russo

Mr Russo continued: “Ronnie is a fantastic guy and a good buddy, and he’s also really knowledgeable about art.

I’ve got work in big galleries and have lots of high-profile clients but the most important thing for me is that my work touches people and helps them.

Mr Russo was born in Luton but moved to Sicily as a baby before returning with his family to the UK when he was 12.

He had been drawing and painting since he was three years old and was drawn to street art as a teenager.

Artwork by Stony

He added: “Graffiti was a way of expressing myself and I joined a community of street artists who were just dedicated to their art.

They were artists, not taggers who just went around painting their names or one design – I was always creative and colourful and it was about expressing myself through art.

Mr O’Sullivan said: “The illness is so bloody sad but he is so positive – he has a great spirit about him.

He never gives in – he always believes there is something better around the corner.



Ronnie at the races & Willo’s views

Last week-end Ronnie went to support the Venturi at the races in London.


He, and Nicolas Hamilton, were there as a ROKIT embassadors. Ronnie even had the honor/pleasure to take Toto Wolf’s seat in the safety car for the hot lap.

By all accounts, he totally enjoyed the experience.

He shared some images on his social media

And a short video of the hot lap

During the same week-end Mark Williams reacted to WST announcement that Ronnie has withdrawn from the 2021 British Open with this:

WilloreactionRosBritishOpen Withdrawal

It says it all about how the top players who started in the 90th, and are still at the top, feel about the current trends in snooker. It’s increasingly about shortening formats and being lucky. Making the sport more random will suit the bookies and excite the gamblers but not the true snooker fans. It will not help the sport in the long term, quite the opposite.

Even the young players with a brain see it: the excellent Davild Caulfield has been talking to Peter Devlin. Please do read the full interwiew, it’s very interesting.

This is only a very short excerpt with Peter’s quotes relevant to the above:

“I’ve seen the rankings and learned a lot about how it works this year in the rankings – consistency is not rewarded,” says the world number 114.

“The only reward is for deep runs in tournaments, and not all tournaments that you have deep runs in give you any reward. My goal is just to be lucky.”

“I know I’m good enough to have deep runs, but it just has to be the right tournament. Stuart Carrington got to the semi-final of Gibraltar, beating five top players on the way, and he won £6,000 for that.

“Then another player drew Anthony Hamilton in the UK Championship – Anthony had COVID – so the other guy got a walkover and got £6,500. What does that say?


When Ronnie gets scary … it turns nasty.

I stumbled upon this one… 

Anger as Ronnie O’Sullivan snooker scarecrow display trashed by vandals in Somerset village

The targeted attack has been branded “a disgusting act”

Ronnie O'Sullivan scarecrow display at Milborne Port
Ronnie O’Sullivan scarecrow display at Milborne Port

Residents of a Somerset village have been left horrified and disgusted after a life-size scarecrow of snooker sporting legend Ronnie O’Sullivan was vandalised in a front garden.

The rocket flames attached to the end of Ronnie’s cue were ripped off and vandals attempted to remove the scarecrow from the seat which he had been tied to.

The culprits then upturned a snooker table which had been placed beside the record-breaking snooker champ leaving the scene in disarray.

The annual scarecrow competition, run by the local community chose a sporting theme this year and were inundated with entries which now form an entertaining display in front gardens around the village.

However, mindless vandals went to several gardens overnight and trashed some of the displays leaving the owners angry.

Ronnie had been lovingly made by Milborne Port resident Mandy Chaffey along with the help of her husband Colin and 22-year-old son William who idolises the sporting hero (named The Rocket due to his style of playing).

Made in true Worzel Gummidge style, they spent hours stuffing pairs of tights with straw, making his outfit and laying out a snooker table display complete with coloured balls.

The scarecrow display was trashed by vandals

She said that as soon as the competition organisers told villagers the scarecrows had to follow a sporting theme there was no question who they were going to make.

“My son is snooker mad and loves “Rocket Ronnie” and it was a joint effort between the three of us,” she said.

“When we opened our door that morning the display had been attacked and they ripped off the rocket flames we had put on the end of his cue and threw it on the ground.

“They then tried to removed Ronnie from his chair, but he was tied too tightly and ended up just lying there in a dishevelled heap.

“They then pushed the table right over which had a set of snooker balls glued onto it, and it narrowly missed hitting my son’s car that was parked in the driveway.

“Whoever did this just didn’t think, and it was a disgusting act.

“This is a community competition which we all put a lot of effort into doing and they obviously just ‘don’t get it.

“They also targeted a tennis player scarecrow in somebody else’s front garden, ripping off its arm and stealing the ball.”

Ronnie O'Sullivan scarecrow display at Milborne Port
Ronnie O’Sullivan scarecrow display at Milborne Port

Mrs Chaffey said that the actions of the vandals would not destroy their spirit and said they had managed to patch Ronnie up and return him to his former glory, however his rocket flames remain missing.

“It is a wonderful thing to do for our village, just to see the joy on everyone’s faces when they see the scarecrows is fantastic, even the recycling men have a laugh at them,” she added.

🙃 😎  …