May 27, 2014

The Willies 2014

Filed under: — snookerbacker @ 2:56 pm

The Willies

It’s time once again for the crème brûlée of the snooker world to gather in the glamorous surroundings of the Upton Snodsbury Comrades Club for this year’s fifth annual Willie Awards to honour the great, the good and the not-so-great or good potters, referees and others associated with our great sport.

This year's erection.

This year’s erection.

As you can see, the craftsmen and wimmin at Willies HQ have been busy putting the finishing touches to this season’s awards. In times of recession it’s essential that we use every bit of recycled material we can and make use of earth’s natural resources and I think they have done an excellent job again. The artistic touch completed by the 3D moustache in the middle of the award. A triumph! 

As ever, the categories have been hotly contested and everyone in attendance is sitting in eager anticipation. With some new awards being given out as well as the season staples without further ado, let’s see who has won what and why….

Player of the Season: Here at The Willies we don’t just give the awards to the players that bother to turn up, so to redress the balance we are going to give the main award of the evening to the player that should have won the World Snooker one instead of Ronnie. So step forward five-times ranking event winner Ding Junhui…….what? He’s not here? Fine the fucker then, is it too late to give it to Ronnie?

Most Expensive Meal: Ding also gets a Willie for being fined 5 grand because he didn’t want to sit and scoff overpriced grub with all the others at the inferior World Snooker Awards bash. I think that’s what’s called Fine Dining.

Break of the Season: Only one contender here, Ronnie O’Sullivan lands a Willie for his 147 that topped off his Welsh Open win in the Costa Del Newport.

Other Break of the Season: Ronnie again for breaking the Paul Hunter trophy on winning it in Germany.

Biggest Hands: Ryan Day

Best Achievement: Again a runaway winner here as Neil Robertson steps forward to receive a well earned Willie for his century of centuries.

The Special Willie Award for Carelessness: The bookmaking industry for giving the punters a real treat early in the season on the Bulgarian PTC in Sofia, slapstick prices compiled by the cleaners and that’s precisely where the clued up punters took them. Like finding it in the street.

Best Match: For sheer excitement and tension, the Ding v Wasley Crucible first rounder was thought worthy of this Willie.

Upset of the Year: Michael Wasley’s resultant win over Ding.

Worst Hair: Li Hang narrowly pips a disappointed Dominic Dale to the Willie, for most of the season he turned up looking like someone had spilt tomato sauce all over his bonce or he’d sat too close to the fire. Dom’s bleached effort was ruled out by the judges because ‘he’s done it before’.

Best Player to have as a mate: Stephen Lee, for all his faults Stevie never let his close mates go skint, that’s truly what friends are for. 

Biggest Sting: The ongoing efforts of the tireless Thai Wheelbarrow Gang are at last recognised by the committee. For years they’ve been betting on matches to order and this season a quite extraordinary morning in Doncaster turned into the sting of all stings as everyone knew Thanawat would lose 5-0 and Passakorn 5-4, which they duly did. A truly audacious heist of Great Train Robbery-esque proportions. It seems only the Integrity Unit refuse to believe that anything untoward went on and rather that everyone on Twitter just got lucky with their predictions.

Biggest Let Off: The very players that are lining the barrows with gold, though Passakorn’s loss to the hopeless Mo Khairy did signal the end of his antics and he took one for the team, Thanawat, Thepchaiya and a few others are still potting and missing away despite mounds of evidence of dodgy betting patterns.

Warmest House: The Thai players residence just outside Sheffield, a real fire ensuring toasty potters after they’ve thrown in a dodgy one.

Most Improved Player: Michael Wasley.

The ‘Remember when I was good?’ Willie: John Higgins.

The ‘One to Watch’ Willie: Some call it a curse, some carry off the tag with aplomb, step forward Oliver Lines for a feel of your first Willie. Trust me, this boy can play.    

Gayest Photo: ‘Look at my Balls’ by Judd and Mark.

Contenders: Judd cups his balls while Mark rubs his cue.

Judd cups his balls while Mark rubs his cue.

The Mischief Willie: Ronnie proved that despite his new professional image he can still ruffle a few feathers. Claims that Stephen Lee was just unlucky to get caught and that lots of players fix matches and his further assertion that everyone knows who’s shagging who in the office, landed The Rocket in hot water with Bazza and co, but at least it bagged him another Willie.

Worst Prediction: Judd predicted he’d defend his International Championship and make a 147, his subsequent first match exit to Alan McManus after the clairvoyant playboi made this rather rash and misguided tweet, presumably after a night out on the lash with the lads, earns him a well-deserved Willie.

The Liam Highfield Award for Geography: Liam Highfield, who on hearing news of strong winds a zillion miles south of Delhi decided it was too much to risk going to the Indian Open. Clearly Geography lessons took a back seat to potting for Duncey Liam.

Best Snooker Soundtrack: ‘Snooker Room’ by Nirav MJ, a kinda fusion of Jacko and Amateur Snooker shit. Chalk it baby. Watch it here.

The Continuing Needless Meddling with a Tournament Willie: The UK Championship, once a big part of the season, now an overcrowded circus event in York. Rethink required.

Best Hashtag: #COC – strangely not used by the governing body to promote the Champion of Champions, but used by absolutely everyone else.

Daftest Decision: Steve Davis for going to the jungle, showing his arse and subsequently losing his tour place because of it.

The ‘You scratch my Willie, I’ll scratch your’ Willie: Bazza and The Nugget, thick as thieves, Bazza immediately giving his old cash register Steve a wildcard when he fell off. That’s what friends are for.

Best Moneyspinner: Bazza again showed us how it’s done by fleecing the amateurs at the PTC’s, almost £100k in fees plus all the expenses and fuck all reward for 99.9% of them. They even had to play in the middle of the night with no refs in dodgy snooker clubs, genius fleecing from the master.

Best Sex Tool: Willie Thorne’s Moustache. One word: Girlbait.

Worst Cue Salesman: Stephen Lee.

Shiniest Head: Mark King.

Best Cuebanger: Stephen Maguire.

Longest Tongue: Ricky Walden.

Snail of the Year: Peter Ebdon.

Worst Shoes: Dominic Dale, absolutely fucking woeful loafers on show for all to see at The Crucible, apparently no zebras were harmed in the making but plenty of eyes were when he walked out in them. £160 apparently, there’s one born every minute.

Best Motivator: Dominic gets yet another Willie for his promise to sing his walk-on song if reaching the World Semi-Final, Barry Hawkins needing just this thought to get him over the line in their epic Crucible Quarter Final, the world was behind him and music was the real winner.

Mummy Mummy MAKE IT STOP.

Mummy Mummy MAKE IT STOP.

Foxiest Ref: Be still my beating heart, the lovely Michaela Tabb justifies favouritism once again…

Stupidest Twat: Snookerbacker, yes me, for knocking back a breakfast invite in Sheffield from Tabby because it was raining outside. Pathetic.

Oddest Tweeter: Willie Thorne, the founder of the feast. Like a little kid who’s just switched on the internet for the first time and found funny pictures of animals with phrases on.

Shittest Tournament: The Shootout. Total Arsewipe.

Best Tournament: The World Championship – a return to greatness after a couple of less than enthralling years.

Most Missed sponsor: Betfred. Swallow the pride and let’s get them back on board for next season.

Oddest Rumour: That the World Championship Qualifiers next season will be played in Beijing, well, someone started it and this time it wasn’t me.

The Least Sponsored Tournament: The German Masters, despite huge crowds in an amazing arena they can’t even manage to rope in a sponsor.

Most Confusing Topic: Ranking Lists.

Most Boring Topic: Ranking Lists changing to Money Lists.

The Haikou Willie for Driving: Goes to the taxi drivers during the World Open, both Craig Steadman and Kurt Maflin were lucky to escape with their lives following collisions by these hopeless wacky-racers.

The Terry Griffiths Thin Cunt Willie: Terry Griffiths for this masterpiece.

Best Trousers: Alan McManus for his tartan big boys.

Best Giggler: Ken Doherty. LOL.

Biggest Curse: Winning the China Open. 

Most Arched Eyebrows: John Parrott.

Best Fan Photograph: ‘Twat in a Hat’ by James Kilmartin

A Twat. A Hat. A Willie.

A Twat. A Hat. A Willie.

Best Amateur Tournament: The Snookerbacker Classic.

Most Boring Press Conference: Barry Hearn at the Crucible, didn’t really say anything but got the bubbly out anyway.

Tossiest Tweets: Grove Snooker who continue to be the epitome of greed, superficialness and self interest at every juncture. Tweets directed at a website who’d got Neil Robertson’s endorsement ‘for free’ being a particular lowpoint. Well guess what? He also told me in Leeds he likes this blog too…FOR FREE! I call that an endorsement.

Best Walk-On Tune: I’ve been saying it now for a few years, the potters need to up their game here, too much pop pap and dad rock, so much so that I am tempted to give it to Ronnie in protest for his incomprehensible Chinese rubbish. But I have to acknowledge the efforts of Michael Holt, you might not like the songs but at least he has a laugh and a bit of a go, if he was a chocolate button he’d eat himself but we all kinda like the mentalist don’t we?

Worst Walk-On Tune: So many to choose from but I feel it has to go to Judd, I don’t know what it is but because it’s his and he chose it, it’s bound to be shite. Other serial offenders are Barry Hawkins (chooses music too young for him), Mark Selby (the endless quest to be too cool for school), Marco Fu (nondescript pop fodder), Stephen Maguire (dad-rock) and Mark Williams (Welsh dad-rock).

Most Understated Walk-on Tune: It’s about time Shaun Murphy came out of his shell a bit. The shy, retiring and humble potter chose to stride out to the theme tune to Superman, we hardly noticed.

Fluffiest Interview: Hazel interviewing Shaun at his house in soft focus. There Shaun sat in his favourite beige cardigan while Hazel gazed into his eyes in front of his pristine kitchen complimenting him on his weight loss. Shaun smiled, a twinkle in his eye, or was it a sentimental tear as he thought about cute kittens perhaps? All that was missing from this twenty minute advertisement on primetime BBC was our Smurf kissing a baby in the street. Politics beckons.

The Special Gold Willie: Beardy Medal Man, who struts around The Winter Gardens proudly displaying his shiny one for all to see. Well next year he can get his Willie out too for the cameras.

His medal bring all the girls to the yard.

His medal brings all the girls to the yard.

The ‘What about me?’ Willie: Mike Dunn, he’s forever begging me for a bit of Willie action and this year his desperate pleas have struck a chord with the judges.

The Lazarus Willie: We’ve all been there, you’ve been waiting for a Willie for so long and then two come along at once. Mike Dunn‘s escapology act in securing his tour safety with a run to the China Open semi-finals gives him a second erection.

Best Commentator: A tough call in a field characterised by catchphrases and non-PC slip-ups. But in a sea of golf, casual racism, Patsy Fagan, Late Greats, Lovely Smiles and Where’s the Fucking Cue Ball goings, there is one consistent voice that works all year round and has never yet had this prestigious accolade bestowed upon him. I speak of Eurosport’s Dave Hendon, a well deserved Willie, if only for putting up with some of his colleagues.

Worst Commentator: I’m sorry but I just can’t give this to 1/50 favourite Dennis, without him I’d have absolutely zero comedy material during the World Championship so I feel I owe him. For this award I must again turn to Eurosport and a shared Willie between Mike Hallett and Phillip Studd, I just can’t watch when these two get going, it’s like fingernails down a blackboard.

Second Best Blogger: For anyone that takes snooker seriously Pro Snooker Blog continues to be head and shoulders above the rest in terms of rankings and the like. For those that don’t take snooker seriously, just carry on coming here.

Best New Addition to Snooker Online: Inside Snooker, a long overdue collaboration between hacks Messrs Hendon and Nunns to bring you a quality snooker news site from inside (as the name suggests) the rumbling underbelly of the sport. You’ll have to split your time with the Willie between you.

Best Stats Site: Cue Tracker. Ron Florax’s site is a paradise for anoraks and improves daily, he’s even got one of those app things now, the geek.


The Fighter Willie: Ali Carter. It’s another tough time ahead for The Captain but he’s come through before and he’ll do it again, the whole of snooker is behind you Cap.

Hard as Nails.

Hard as Nails.

So that’s it for another year, the new season is already under way and there have even been early pitches for a 2015 Willie already, such is the thirst to grab one. All we can do is sit back and wait and see what the new season brings. 

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