May 14, 2013

The Willies 2013

Filed under: — snookerbacker @ 5:41 pm

The Willies

It’s time once again for the crème brûlée of the snooker world to gather in the glitzy surroundings of the Upton Snodsbury Comrades Club for this year’s fourth annual Willie Awards.

This is the night where all the potters, officials, commentators and hangers-on get to find out if their efforts this season to impress the panel of experts has been judged worthy of a Willie.

This year the highly skilled craftsmen and wimmin at the Willie Factory have come up with a marvellous erection for the winners to carry away with them. It uses ‘Willie Juice Technology’  to keep it nice and firm. The design is such that if your Willie should ever become a bit limp, you can simply fill it back up with Willie Juice to make it nice and erect again.


True craftsmanship I am sure you will agree.

So without further ado, let’s see who are the winners and losers from 2013’s packed season…I will hand you over to your host for the evening, Freddie Starr (he was surprisingly cheap in fairness, I’ve no idea why as he’s still in the papers a lot according to his agent).

(Finger Buffet provided by Doris behind the bar in association with Iceland) 

Your host for the evening (in his younger days)

This is your host, well this is the card they sent me, he doesn’t look like that now in fairness but he’s all we’ve got.

Player of the Season: The panel were impressed with a number of efforts this season, one of them said ‘just give it to Ronnie’ but was shouted down by the others and hurled out soon after it was discovered he’d emptied the judges drinks cabinet. One name however shone above all the rest. OK, he was shit in the World Championship, but a Masters and UK Championship double and finishing the season as World Number 1 makes Mark Selby the overwhelming winner and the proud recipient of the Willie they all want, unfortunately he was too burnt out to attend the ceremony.

Best Achievement: A somewhat controversial winner here given Ronnie’s recent foray back onto the baize but Rod Lawler carries off his first ever erection for coming through Q-School at the start of the season having just dropped off the main tour for the first time in 20 odd years and then managing to break into the top 64, winning a PTC in the process. They said it couldn’t be done, but he proved them wrong. He’s just making his way up to the stage now to get his award……but while he’s on his way it’s a long night ahead so……

The Lazarus Willie: He has already started sulking so it’s time to give Ronnie O’Sullivan a big up for his Sheffield success, a comeback of never before seen proportions and a Willie to play with for his troubles, his smile is back, for now.

Best Match: Too many contenders to mention here, including two final framers with a 147 involving John Higgins but for sheer entertainment value the judges plumped for Judd Trump’s 6-5 win over Mark Allen in the quarter finals of the International Championship on his way to winning it, sensational stuff. They share a Willie.

Touched by his Willie

Touched by his Willie

Most Improved Player: Freddie Starr cracks his first joke of the evening, something about liking giving a Willie to the youngsters to a muted response from the knowledgeable Snodsbury crowd. Anyway, young Michael White is the grateful recipient of the award and a nice wink from our jovial host.

The One To Watch Willie: How can I not give him a Willie? You heard it here first, Allan Taylor is this year’s ‘One To Watch’ in his first season as a professional, get the Assassin on the live streaming and watch him go. Kapowwwwww!!!

Best Tournament: A mediocre World Championship, an under par Masters and a fairly pedestrian UK means that this award goes to China and the new International Championship, a welcome move away from their tired old format and a new emphasis on longer matches, what’s not to like apart from the wildcards?

The Fuck off Wildcards Willie: The wildcards.

Worst Tournament: The PTC in Ravenscraig, only held there because John Higgins lives over the road and the atmosphere of a mortuary on a bank holiday. Turgid and too close to Christmas when everyone has much better things to do.

Best Non-Televised Event: The World Championship qualifiers.

Most missed sponsor: Betfred. Somehow the Betfair World Championship doesn’t hit the spot and the atmosphere around the Crucible suffered from their obvious lack of enthusiasm for the event.

Shiniest Head: Mark King.

Best Shoes: Stuart Bingham – understated elegance’ according to Mrs SB.

Worst Shoes: Judd Trump. No competition. I’m sure someone out there thinks they look good but all I can see is a crap designer laughing all the way to the bank.

No Shoes: SB Classic entrant Darren Bond who forgot to bring his shoes to the tournament and had to race to Tesco to buy a new pair at the last minute. Careless.

(Rod is still making his way to the stage by the way having changed his mind about which way to go a few times)

Holty was too sexy for his shirt, but not his Willie.

Holty was too sexy for his shirt, but not his Willie.

Best Walk-On Tune: The baize boys continue to struggle with the concept of having fun with these. Rob Milkins has taken that a bit too far but at least he’s having a go, but for the player that actually gets what these are all about it has to be Michael Holt’s ‘I’m Too Sexy’ walk-on at the Crucible, a deserved erection and hopefully the first of many for The Hitman.

Worst Walk-on Tune: All that shit insipid pop crap that some of them walk out to is too shit to even win a Willie, so Martin Gould wins this one with his weird fusion of Motorhead and Spandau Ballet, what was he thinking? It was more Flatboy Dim than Fatboy Slim.

Services to Nandos: Mark Williams walks off with a Willie, a full chicken, some hot piri-piri sauce and free Sprite refills.

Most Overkilled Story: The Ronnie ‘will he or won’t he’ contract saga – a mind-numbingly dull story regurgitated whenever he decided to make a public appearance, a second erection for the Rocket for finally reading the contract and coming back.

Most Boring Discussion Topic: The move to the money ranking list discussion.

Best Nickname yet to be used: Dark Mavis.

Best Idea Theft by World Snooker: Stealing my Mr Poomtastic tag during the World Championship and pretending they thought of it.

The Twatty Tweeter Willie: Judd Trump is head and shoulders above the rest in this department and carries off a deserved Willie for giving it out to the likes of Ste Lee, Peter Ebdon and even the great Joe Davis. Oh and Janie, that jobsworth at the SWSA.

Biggest Jobsworth: Janie Watkins. Well said Judd.

The Most Overused Fictional Phrase that Pays Willie: This one divided the judges, on one half of the room was the ‘Big Bounce’ brigade but just shading it for this Willie is ‘Burn Out’.

Most Missed Player: Long Wang.

Most Careless Foul Shot: Anthony McGill, the hirsute Scotsman takes this accolade for what I think is a snooker first and one for the Careless Book of Records, he managed to foul a ball with his beard in a match earlier this season.

Scruffbag of the Year: Anthony Hamilton once again takes this title, he turns up looking like he’s slept in the bins but cares not a jot. Even a warning from World Snooker about his attire failed to curtail his very own brand of Binbag Chic.

The Mrs SB Willie for being better looking in real life than on the Telly: Mark Selby

The Mrs SB Swoon Willie: Neil Robertson who continues to wave his magic wand over the first lady of the baize, she even got to meet him this season so loves him even more, bless her.

The Bigmouth Strikes Again Willie: Goes to our old pal Joe Jogia, who was busy outside asking if anyone had any old gold he could buy, luckily Robbo was leaving early having received his award and threw a cue at him.  

Most Missed Bigmouth: Mark Allen, whose new diplomatic persona isn’t as good as his old one.

Most Fake Bigmouth: Judd Trump, who really isn’t like it says on the tin. New PR needed.

First Class Waffle.

First Class Waffle.

Most Uninteresting Story Ever Told EVER: Goes to the increasingly hapless and increasingly squirmingly awful Dennis Taylor for telling us that his pal Cliff Thorburn was being flown in first class to Sheffield, NOBODY but him was interested.

Best Dodge Tactic: When Cliff did arrive, a shocked Dennis stated from the commentary box that ‘I didn’t think he was coming until tomorrow’. Cliff could later be seen being interviewed at length alone and obviously trying to avoid his goggle-eyed admirer. Unfortunately, Cliff was unavailable to collect his Willie in person but guess who was there to get it for him? Den has always dreamt of giving Cliff a stiff one and now is his chance. Let’s just hope the Willie Juice Technology™ does it’s job on the economy class flight to Canada.

(UPDATE: Rod is now just a few feet away from the stage but he appears to have stopped in his tracks)

The My Best Mate Willie: Matt Selt and Stephen Hendry.

The (Designer) Handbags at Dawn Willie: Matt Selt and Judd Trump.

The Baize Bromance Willie: One Willie, two men. MJW and Holty share the love and the Willie.

The Frank Spencer Award for Carelessness: The BBC for showing a 30-odd year old sitcom instead of Ronnie O’Sullivan’s comeback match final session at the World Championship, the award is shared with Eurosport who had Speedway of all things on. Sheer Carelessness on both their parts.

Worst Promotional Campaign: The ‘I love Gdynia’ travesty dreamt up by World Snooker to big up a PTC in Poland. Presumably thought of while on the toilet for longer than expected.

Best Chocotoff Bringer to SB Classic events: Monique Limbos, the best thing to come out of Belgium since Luca Brecel. More please, we’ve run out.

The Anorak Willie: Shared between Dave Hendon and Matt at Pro Snooker Blog for their frequent references to their Crucible Almanac aka The Trainspotters Guide to Snooker. Seriously, if you see them on the street clutching it and approaching your general direction, use any avoidance tactic you can.

Snooker Fan of the Year Willie: Taffy from Llanelli. I witnessed a very lovely moment between him and a severely disabled spectator at the Crucible, he is truly a legend and deserves all the free tickets and sweets that he gets.

The dodgy match we don’t talk about Willie: Thepchaiya Un-Nooh’s 4-0 loss to Steve Davis in a PTC earlier in the year was swiftly brushed under the carpet despite half of the Far East knowing the score in advance and the other half knowing the winner. News even filtered down via Spain before the match on Twitter and still nothing was done.

Still on his way to the stage.

Still on his way to the stage.

The Longest Suspension without any evidence being presented: Stephen Lee’s ongoing exile from the sport. I hope for the sake of the prize fund next season World Snooker have a solid case or this could go seriously tits up.

Worst Dalai Lama Impersonation: Terry Griffiths, who almost turned the airwaves blue with his seemingly endless insomnia-curing witterings about sucking on a lollipop during the World Championship. Nietzsche he definitely ain’t.   

The Bog Trotter Willie: Peter Ebdon, Neil Robertson and Mark King are far and away the kings of the toilet breaks. But for pure regularity and consistency and given Ebdon’s valid excuse of being a vegan (I’ve been there) and the fact that Robbo picks and chooses when he does it, the award goes to Kingy.

The Tactical Bog Trotter Willie: Robbo.

The Longest Shit Break Willie: Ebbo. 

(Rod Update: he did stop for a bit and then looked around the arena before taking a few steps in the opposite direction, but now he appears to be making his way to the stage. Freddie, ever the professional is just getting on with it and seems in a bit of a rush since he got a text message)

Most Caterpillar-like Eyebrows: John Parrott.

Best Arena for a Snooker Tournament since the 1980’s: The Tempodrom, Berlin. End of. Just ask Ali Carter and Marco Fu. It would be best tournament every year, but you have to be there to see that.

Recommended Bet of the Year: 25/1 on the Captain to win the German Masters which he duly did. Even got a mention on Eurosport.

Worst Commentator:  Everyone has their favourites for this category, but in the end it’s a race between the front runner from Eurosport Mike Smith and Dennis who is now undoubtedly spearheading the BBC effort. To the relief of the Eurosport boys, Smiffy still shades it, but it’s getting a lot closer than it’s ever been.

The Clive Everton Willie for 2nd Best Commentator: Neal Foulds has carried this award off now for the past two years, but I’m afraid he can’t make it a treble as Stephen Hendry claims the Willie that might end up being his to keep in a few years time along with all his other trophies. Don’t you just hate people who are good at everything?

The Corporate Fuckwits Willie: Goes to the airline that lost all the players cues at the World Open.

The Best Stephen Maguire Impersonation: Ricky Walden, whose clothes didn’t arrive either and was forced to dress as Mags for a match.

The Organic Crackpot Willie: No ceremony would be complete without Peter Ebdon getting an erection, and his outburst of ‘Vegan Power‘ in the Premier League match is surely deserving of this award.

Tabby - Top Bird.

Tabby – Top Bird.

Foxiest Ref: She’s done it again…the little minx. Michaela Tabb once again turns heads wherever she roams and I make that four Willies in succession, quite an achievement.

Best Hair Thatch: Jan Verhaas.

Worst Hair Thatch: Jimmy White.

Best Dead Thatch: Mrs Thatcher. (Freddie insisted on that one, she wasn’t here obviously and it was deducted from his fee)

The ‘I was funny at first but then it got annoying’ Willie: Dechawat Poomjaeng whose genuinely bonkers display against Maguire rightly got him attention, but as so often happens the ensuing media frenzy to make him a fast-track star and encourage more antics on a quiet week backfired and by the time he lost most were cheering on the other guy. Good job boys.

The Fight Night Willie: Andrew Pagett and Alfie Burden. Let’s get it on!!

Most Insightful Comment: Sir Clive of Everton, who described Snookerbacker as ‘the respected and insightful blogger’ in Snooker Scene. Spot on again.

The Calamitous Catalogue of Carelessness Willie: The Curry Incident – Neal, Jill and Clive get to share a Willie for an episode which started in an Indian Restaurant, ended at the Dry Cleaners and led to the dreaded ‘corpsing’ and moments of TV gold in the ITV studio during the World Open coverage (watch it unfold here).

Best New Development: Said ITV coverage of the World Open, which was free from gimmicks and razzmatazz and instead catered for the snooker fan. A breath of fresh air and so much of what the BBC has lost down the years.

Biggest Disappointment: When Mrs Snookerbacker tried a Currywurst in Berlin ‘It’s just a normal sausage with curry sauce on it’ was her assessment. In fairness that’s spot on, but where there’s a sausage, there’s usually a Willie.

The Much Missed Willie: The Snooker Players Association (The SAP) whose demise started with their embracing of Twitter and ended with a strongly worded open letter to Barry Hearn about pies. Unfortunately, even Damian Hurst cudnt keep this draem a live.

(Rod is now within touching distance of the stage but appears to have stopped again to reassess his options)

Andrew Higginson.

Andrew Higginson.

Longest Tongue: Ricky Walden.

Best Perma-tan: Barry Hawkins.

Best Chuck Norris Impersonation: Andrew Higginson.

Best Cuebanger: Stephen Maguire.

Most Careless Ref: That Chinese guy for thinking Joan Murphy was playing Jack Lissowikikki.

The Most Ignored Headline Suggestion Willie: After MJW beat Lu Haotian I suggested the headline ‘Williams Shits on Lu’ to World Snooker for their write up. Maybe they didn’t see it.

The Willie for Services to Science: Graeme Dott leaves with a Willie for his groundbreaking suggestion of watering the Crucible carpet after he suffered some static shocks from it against Shaun Murphy who didn’t suffer any from the same carpet.

The Percy Thrower Carpet-Waterer Willie: Goes to the poor sod that had to obey this outrageous demand, a ripple of applause from the knowledgeable Crucible crowd was scant reward for utter public humiliation.

The ‘Change it Back’ Willie: Welsh Open, matches are too short, let’s get them back to at least best of nine roll-on, roll-off. No arguments on this one please, cheers.

The Joe Davis ‘Fuck You Judd Trump’ Award: Judd Trump.

Best Cue Wank: Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Best Blog: Mrs SB has another Willie to dust…..well, nobody else ever gives me an award: all the way, check the stats. Evry post bigga dan da papers, pass me da Vivienne’s.

Best New Internet Addition: The increasingly excellent Cue Tracker website has everything for the statto and the gambler. Well laid out, easy to navigate and constantly updated. Willies are really popular in Holland so here’s another erection to add to the mix.

(Rod has reached the stage to get his award, oh hang on, he’s stepped off it again)

Best Amateur Tournament: The Snookerbacker Classic.

Best Live Scoring System: The My Snooker Stats website came up trumps on Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals Day and drew praise from all corners of the globe (honestly). A truly genius addition to the event and worthy of a big juicy Willie from me.

Best New Snooker Initiative: Jason Ferguson’s ‘Functional Snookerinitiative which takes snooker into schools. Just make the little blighters sing Snooker Loopy every day now and we’re nearly there.

Snail on the RoadWorst Decision Willie: While you’re there Jason, you’ll carry on getting this until you give me the main tour place for the SB Classic winner. You KNOW it makes sense.

Stupidest Idea: Graeme Dott – ‘Shotclock at the Crucible’ – stick to science Graeme.

Naffest Prize: The Betfair Golden Cue.

Hashtag of the Year: #careless

Future Hashtag to look out for: #infairness

And now for the final long-awaited (literally) award………

Snail of the Year: He’s finally arrived at the stage to receive his first award and he couldn’t have timed it better. Rod Lawler also crawls away with Snail of the Year. Consistent late finishes and regular coma-inducing frames give him the recognition and Willie that he truly deserves. I love him really, see here.

And that brings to an end another star-studded night in Upton Snodsbury. There will be tears and tantrums, joy and laughter but while there’s moonlight and music and love and romance, let’s clutch our Willies and dance…..

Thanks to all the players who attended and to the host Freddie Starr who appears to have left early to console the Willie-less Luca Brecel. I’m not sure why the police have arrived, it wasn’t that rowdy.

Roll on next year!

The Willies


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