Sam Craigie will tomorrow make his television debut in the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany.
Some debut it is too for the 17 year-old, against world champion John Higgins.
Craigie hails from Wallsend (so named because it lies at the end of Hadrian’s Wall, fact fans), which is close to Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
He hails from a snooker-mad family. His elder brother, Stephen, has previously been on the circuit and is doing his best to get back on.
The brothers had an unusual helping hand in the development of their careers in the form of the local police force.
In 2003, the police club closed down and officers needed to get rid of the full sized snooker table.
The word was put out and the Craigies’ father, also Stephen, was the grateful recipient, although only after building an extension on the family home to accommodate it.
This proved to be a great decision. Both sons have impressed as amateurs. Stephen is a former European junior champion and Sam, after a number of successes in English national events, last year won the World Under 21 Championship – beating his brother 7-6 in the semi-finals – and thus qualified to be a professional.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “I’m really pleased the lads have been so successful. It’s a great reflection on the area and it’s good to know that the police have played a small part.
“Often young people only come to the notice of police for the wrong reasons, but that’s certainly not the case here. They are a great example of what you can achieve with hard work, the right equipment and talent.”
Young Sam will need an arresting performance to beat Higgins but what a proud day for the family.