Interview with personalities - Ken Doherty

20. července 2014 v 6:44 |  Interviews

photo: Monique Limbos


by Vladimíra Procházková

Hello Ken, I looked forward to our interview. I think, you are a pretty active man and you are well-known not only as the best snooker player from Ireland, but also as a sport commentator for the BBC and a radio presenter. You have got your own Snooker Academy in Dublin.

You are the only player who won the 1989 world championship as an amateur and the 1997 world championship as a professional.

Ken, how did it all start? How old were you when you started playing snooker and who turned you to snooker?
After watching Alex Higgins, when he won the World Championship in 1982, I wanted to be a snooker player.

You are the most successful Irish snooker player. What were your playing conditions to playing at the beginning of your career?
I played in a local club called Jason's which backs on to my mothers house!!

Your way up wasn't certainly easy. What was the driving force for you?
Life wasn't easy as a kid particularly when my dad passed in June 1983, he and my family were my driving force.

After winning the world title in 1997, when you beat Stephen Hendry 18-12, a huge ovation waited to you at home on your arrival. It had to be a fantastic feeling to bring the World title to Ireland. What are your memories of the moment?
Apart from my son being born (2007) it was the greatest year of my life, so I have a lot of memories. Going through the streets of Dublin on an open top bus and bringing the cup to Old Trafford wasn't bad either. :)

Is it true that you have played your entire career with a warped cue, which you selected randomly from the cue rack in your local snooker club?
Yeah, still I have the cue which I payed 2£ for, I've won everything with a warped cue.

What do you think are the most important qualities for a snooker player?
Talent, dedication, hunger, sacrifice. Strength, skill, speed, stamina, but the most important one is spirit.

Since 2009 you have been working as a regular commentator of snooker matches for the BBC. What were you feelings behind a microphone for the first time, when you knew, that so many people were listening to you? You obviously enjoy this job.
Have great fun doing it, great bunch to work with.

Would you say about yourself that you have a sense of humor? Can you tell us a funny story from commentator's armchair?
Once told Dennis Taylor that referee Olivier Marteel's surname was Martinez as in the actor and he said it live on air! I laughed so much I nearly fell out of my chair :)

It is well known, that you are a big fan of the Manchester United football club. Do you have the opportunity to visit their matches, when you are so busy?
I go when I can, love going to the games but I don't get many opportunities these days.

You also play poker. Is it caused by the fact that you're a very good pocker player? How often do you play?
Love it, but only play when on tour now or in my club on Friday nights.

How long would you like to take part in competitions on the professional level? You have got the Snooker Academy, that is focusing on nurturing of young talented players from around the country, you are a commentator of snooker matches on tv... And what about next? Do you have any other plans or wishes for the future?
No plans yet but would like to pass on my knowledge and experience at some stage.

Do you think your son Christian is going to follow in your footsteps? Surely he would have a really great and experienced coach and mentor in you.
He likes to play and has good coordination but has taken to tennis in a big way.

Have you got a favourite quotation?
It's nice to be important but more important to be nice.

Ken, thank you for the interview and good luck in everything you do.

Ken Doherty, 44, is the most successful snooker player from Ireland. He lives in Dublin. His professional career started in 1990. The Ken Doherty Snooker Club / Academy:

best professional achievements:
2006 Malta Cup Champion
2001 Thailand Masters Champion
2000 Malta Grand Prix Champion
1997 World Professional Championship Champion
1993 and 2001 Welsh Open Champion


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