Top Trumps! Judd’s success leads to payout of 1998 bet
A FORMER junior snooker player has spoken to Keynsham Voice after Judd Trump’s win at the World Championships resulted in his dad receiving a £10,000 payout, writes Keri Beckingham.
Judd beat John Higgins at the final at Sheffield's Crucible, taking the title for the first time.
Richard Morrice recalled playing against Judd, who hails from Whitchurch, at the former Keynsham Snooker Club in 1998.
Speaking to the Voice about his memories of playing against eight-year old Judd, Richard said: “As a 12 year-old, I had been interested in snooker for a couple of years, and my father used to take me to a snooker club where we lived in Oxfordshire. I played in the junior team, and I was always deemed as the young one, but once I got to a sufficient level I started to play in tournaments.
“On one occasion we travelled to Keynsham Snooker Club in Bristol, where I progressed to the second round of a handicap tournament for younger players. I had mainly played against people older than me, and although there were a few youngsters on the circuit, I had only heard of Judd at this point. I couldn’t believe it when he told me his handicap – he even had to give me 20 point start! I broke first, and essentially he ended up winning 2-0.
“I remember that he was tiny, and that he couldn’t get his arm over the top of the cue, which is quite an unorthodox style. After seeing Judd play it was quite clear that I had a lot of work to do in order to get to a similar level, especially when we found out that he was practising almost full time!”
Following his 2-0 defeat, Richard’s father Neil, who is an expert horse racing analyst, called a friend that worked at Coral, and placed a £10 bet with 1000-1 odds that Judd would win the world title by the age of 30.
Since then Neil and Richard, who now works as a cyber insurance broker for Lloyds of London, have continued to follow Judd’s career over the years, and Neil came very close to cashing in his bet when Judd reached the final in 2011.
Richard said: “We have followed Judd’s career from the start, and were really excited when he reached the final in 2011, and two subsequent semi finals, before finally winning it. I’m definitely not surprised at the success he’s had – I used to play football at decent level with people who have been scouted professionally, but in comparison to this I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Richard told the Voice he expects his father will use his winnings to take his wife on holiday, and pursue his love of racing by potentially buying more horses.
“For us it’s not an anticlimax”, Richard added. “We’re glad he’s won and have enjoyed watching his progress over the years, and although it’s over now it has come to a happy end. I am still a big snooker fan, and I would love to go and watch Judd play at the Crucible one day!”