In Week 4, We continue our series of ‘Mersey Legends’ this week with a player who has won many titles and was a Professional between 1995-2000. Here is an in-depth insight into John Whitty, still regarded as probably the best left handed player to come out of Merseyside.
North West Open Champion: 1995, 2015, 2016
Merseyside Champion of Champions: 2006, 2012
Merseyside Open Champion: 1997, 2011, 2012, 2018
Liverpool Wirral Championship: 2014
European Amateur Championship: Runner-Up: 2014
English Ranking Series Winner: 2011
English Amateur Championship: Runner-Up: 2010
North West Junior Champion: 1995
Merseyside Junior Champion of Champions: 1995
Merseyside Junior Champion: 1994
Plus winning a few Pro-Ams around the country…
Nickname: “Gritty Whitty”
Favourite Football Team: Liverpool
Best Sporting moments outside snooker: 2005 Champions League Final v AC Milan; 2006 FA Cup Final v West Ham
Favourite Places to visit: Thailand and Cornwall
Favourite Band/Artist: Coldplay and Chris de Burgh
Favourite Films: Shawshank Redemption; Gladiator; Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Dead Mans Shoes; Braveheart
Favourite Actors: Russel Crowe and Mel Gibson
Favourite Food: Chinese cuisine
Favourite Drink: Latte and Cappuccino
Highest Tournament Break:
145 – I remember it being at a Pro-Am against Chris Norbury in Belle Vue, Manchester, but the year escapes me!!
My First 100 Break:
101 – against an old team mate of mine (Jenko) at Holy Name Club in 1991. Vivid memory.
Favourite Venue to play: Bournemouth International Centre, Preston Guild Hall and Gloucester Academy.
Which player inspired you ?
Have you ever represented your country ?
Had some very proud moments including the following:
England Junior Team: 1994
England senior team 2013
What is your best ever achievement?
I reached the last 64 of the UK Championship in 1998 where I lost to Andy Hicks (9-6); Making back-to-back total clearances of 141 and 136 in the English Amateur Championship in 2016, still not sure if that’s ever been done by anyone else in that competition!
Who are the toughest opponents you have ever played?
Paul Hunter (RIP) and Graeme Dott.
Who is/was your favourite snooker player to watch? Jimmy White and Ronnie O’Sullivan, but I also love John Higgins as he is the total match player.
Being a fan of horse racing, what’s the greatest horse you’ve ever seen?Kauto Star, a truly unbelievable horse. It won two Cheltenham Gold Cups in 2007 and 2009, also the King George VI on five occasions and Betfair Chase an incredible four times, and win at so many different distances…Pure class!
If you were playing in the World Final at The Crucible, apart from your family, which 3 celebrities would you invite as your special guests ?
I’m gonna be cheeky and have FOUR guests – Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard, A.P McCoy and Richard Johnson.