Neal Jones

This week, we feature a player who became a Professional in 1994 and spent four years on the tour, before reverting to the amateur scene where he enjoyed a ‘golden period’ winning many local amateur titles in the mid 2000’s. Here’s an in depth insight into Neal Jones

Neal Jones

 

HONOURS
 
North West Open Champion:
2004
Merseyside Champion of Champions:
2003, 2004
Merseyside Open Champion :
2003, 2004, 2013
North West Junior Champion :
2003
Chester Open Champion
1995, 2001, 2002, 2003
 
Other Honours include Welsh U16 Champion, Wirral Amateur Champion, Merseyside Pairs (twice) and winning a Pro-Am Tournament.
 
Age: 44
 
Nickname: “Iceman” – I’m still not sure why!!
 
Favourite Football Team: Tottenham Hotspur
 
Best Sporting moment outside snooker: Lucas Moura scoring a hat-trick which included the dramatic injury time winner against Ajax in last years Champions League Semi Final. I’ve selectively forgotten what happened in the final.
 
Favourite Places to visit: Rome & Saunton Sands in Devon
 
Favourite Band/Artist: Michael Jackson
 
Favourite TV programme: Only Fools and Horses
 
Favourite Film: Taken
 
Favourite Actor/Actress: Liam Neeson
 
Favourite Food: Chinese cuisine
 
Favourite Drink: Carling Premier ( struggle to find it these days )
 
Highest Tournament Break:
145 – ( I potted a pink with the first red and a pink with the last red ) against Dave Harold in Merseyside Professional Championship at Scottie’s around 1995 . It was a qualifying match. It was £2 per point prize money – I seem to remember Ryan Day knocked in a 146 on finals day to beat it – gutted was an understatement!
 
My First 100 Break:
I was thirteen years old at my Dads old club in Chester.
 
What is your chosen ‘walk-on’ music: Dire Straits – Walk of Life
 
Favourite Venue to play: Preston Guild Hall & EIS in Sheffield
 
Which player inspired you ?
Jimmy White when I was younger but Stephen Hendry in my later years . His winning mentality was second to none .
 
What is your best ever achievement? Winning the Merseyside Open and North West Open are up there for me personally but getting to to the final of a PIOS event( a qualifying tour to get on the main tour ) at Pontins in 2009 at the time was a personal achievement for myself . I lost to Liam Highfield in the final.
 
Who is the toughest opponent you have ever played?
Paul Hunter . Absolute class of a player and an even better person . Locally, Rod Lawler, Ian Brumby, John Welsh and John Whitty are so tough to play against !!  The younger players of today, locally and nationally, are top quality. The game has changed in recent years but in my opinion, the ‘old school’ players are still competing at the top level on both Amateur and Professional circuits.
 
Who is/was your favourite snooker player to watch?
Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan who make the game look ridiculously easy at times.
 
And Finally…..
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’d rather choose three very close snooker buddies who have always supported me whether I win or lose. They always pick me up if I lose , which is a bit more often these days lol.
1. Alex Ferguson – ‘Ferg’ my wingman
2. Lee Stephens – ‘Dag’ who I’ve also won the Merseyside Pairs with
3. Alex Taubman – ‘Taub’ one of the nicest guys on the circuit.