Magic moment as ‘leader’ John meets ex-world champion

Thursday, 20th January — By Steve Barnett

Shaun Murphy and John Donovan cutout

John Donovan with Shaun Murphy

FANS didn’t get too long to savour the snooker on Sunday as Australia’s Neil Robertson made light work of Barry Hawkins in the Masters final, chalking up a resounding 10-4 victory at London’s Alexandra Palace.

But they did get a glimpse of what promises to be a bright future for the sport when the BBC, who were screening the tournament, went behind the scenes at Camden’s leading children’s snooker club.

As Robertson and Hawkins disappeared behind the cameras at the interval, spectators in the audience – and those watching at home – were introduced to cue stars from Gone2Pot, which is based at the Hurricane Room in King’s Cross.

Young potters including John Donovan, from Somers Town, and teammate Elliott Johnson – who are no strangers to our sports pages – not only got to watch some of the action unfold live, they also rubbed elbows with some of the game’s top seeds.

Former world champion Shaun “The Magician” Murphy, who is currently ranked seventh in the world, presented the duo with “young leaders certificates” after they helped the English Partnership of Snooker and Billiards (EPSB), which runs the amateur side of the sport, host and promote snooker sessions for just £1 last summer at Cousins Snooker Club in Holloway.

“It was a great experience and I really enjoyed it,” said John, 15. “It was great to meet Shaun Murphy, and also get the chance to watch Mark Williams take on Bingtao Yan.

“It was also really good to go backstage, where we were actually on TV in the background.”

Elliott, 16, added: “It was a great trip to the Masters, where we got to meet a few top professionals.

“It was the best feeling to watch a top professional like Williams playing – overall it was the best time of my life.”

For more information on Gone2Pot, and to find out about their Saturday kids’ sessions, call coach John Woods on 07511 916 346 or email

Related Articles