Snooker

Watch: Snooker Veteran Gives Powerfully Honest Speech After First Ever Ranking Title Win

Watch: Snooker Veteran Gives Powerfully Honest Speech After First Ever Ranking Title Win

"I lost my hair when I was about 11, and I feel about 300!"

That was the response of 42-year-old British snooker player Mark King when it was put to him that he had ended a 319-tournament drought to pick up his first ever ranking title.

King beat Barry Hawkins 9-8 to claim the Northern Ireland Open in his first ranking final since the Irish Masters in 2004. In a 25-year career, King had never won a ranking title.

The Romford man, who is a recovering gambling addict, earned £70,000 as he bounced back from 5-1 down with breaks of 48 and 42 to see off Hawkins, who was more than gracious in defeat to his old friend.

After his victory, an almost bewildered King gave a hugely emotional interview where he revealed he had to borrow money from his 83-year-old father even to get to Ireland to contest the NI Open, and thanked his family for sticking with him during difficult periods when he was addicted to gambling:

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To see the last two minutes, where [the children] came out...I been dreaming of that ever since they were born. I never thought it would happen. 42 years old... I'm on the last nine. I'm on the last nine of my career.

My wife's been unbelievable. Last few years, I used to compulsive gambling, treat her like absolute crap, and she stuck with me. She's been an absolute rock.

When asked where he intended to place the Alex Higgins Trophy, King responded:

It might even have to come in between me and the missus tonight I think!

It was a tremendously uplifting post-match interview by King on Eurosport, and you can watch it below:

Mark King Speech After Northern Ireland Open Victory

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=76mCIY20mvM

Taking to Twitter later last night, King again spoke of his appreciation for the support he has received, and shared a joke with a mate to whom he owed a couple of bob.

Fantastic.

SEE ALSO: Northern Irish Snooker Player Gives Remarkably Honest Interview About Dislike Of Opponent

Gavan Casey
Article written by
Former handwriting champion. Was violently bitten by a pelican at Fota Wildlife Park in 2001.

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