September 10, 2012

Let’s all Calmmmm Down: Congratulations to Rod

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:21 am

The Man of the Moment

I don’t normally do the congratulatory type posts which some other blogs do when someone wins something, there have been exceptions, I usually give the World Champion a nod and when the MO’D  got through Q-School I went all gushy. Today is another exception as I congratulate my fellow Liverpudlian and old friend Rod Lawler on his win yesterday. 

I’ve known Rod for many years, since we were around 13 I think. We spent our formative years in the company of the likes of Nicky Fruin, Colin Kelly, Tony Rampello and John Timson in all manner of venues around the North West, with our coach, a man by the name of John Smith whose claim to fame was that he was the first face ever to be seen on the TV soap Brookside, where he played a milkman for one episode only.

One of the ‘hardest’ places we used to play was the Litherland Boys Club, or the ‘Boysy’ as it was known. It had two full sized tables in a shed, one of which was ok, the other of which was bloody awful. We’d congregate there most nights and wait for our 20 minute slot, hoping that we’d be able to play for longer.

But the reason for it’s notorious reputation came after the 8.30pm slot, when the local riff-raff would take over the shed, turn all the lights off and start throwing snooker balls all over the place at a pace. It’s amazing nobody ever died there, in fact I don’t know to this day if that is actually the case.

There were other sports there too and I remember Rod being very very good at table tennis, he was one of those kids that seemed to be good at everything.

Rod was quickly spotted by the likes of George Scott and Jim Meadowcroft as a big talent and it wasn’t long before he was leaving us all behind where snooker was concerned. While me and Col Kelly were getting trousered at Pontins in the Clwyd Bar, Rod was on the coke and orange juice and early to bed, blissfully unaware of the havoc his careless chums were causing all through the early hours. Needless to say, his approach worked a little better than ours did and it showed in his results.

He turned professional not long after and despite his blip last season and his subsequent Q-School triumph at the eleventh hour he has been one ever since.

Yesterday’s win has been a long time coming but it’s a great reward for a career of hard work and just getting on with it when others might have jacked it in, it is well deserved and I am delighted for him.

I haven’t seen him in a while, which is odd as he only lives down the road and we used to bump into each other a lot more regularly than we do now, perhaps he’s avoiding me….But next time I see him I won’t just stop for the pleasantries, I’ll put my arm around his shoulder and take him to the nearest pub to buy him a congratulatory drink.

Coke or Orange Juice of course.

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