Jimmy White’s perpetual love of snooker is unmistakable as he reveals his three-year plan to compete at the highest level, and looks back on the highs and lows of his extraordinary career, in the new episode of the WST Podcast.
“I put this three-year plan into place, and so far I am only six months into it and so far ahead of schedule,” the Whirlwind tells Michael McMullan. “In my last eight matches, I have won seven and only lost one against Ryan Day at the UK Championship.
“I have got new practice routines, I have added different things to my game and I am playing really good stuff. At my age I shouldn’t be playing, I should be going around like Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry playing golf. But I have chosen to give it a go. Because I’m a natural player, if it’s all working right then I can play unbelievable. But the technique I had couldn’t keep it going, certain parts would always fail. I didn’t realise that until nine months ago. We have worked all that out and at the moment I am really enjoying it. I don’t have any regrets because I am far from finished.
“I have nothing to prove, I could go tomorrow and still do exhibitions, do my Eurosport work and win all the senior events. But I’m interested in competing with the current players. I still believe that my top game wins. It’s obviously a big ask for me to win the World Championship but if I can keep my game and my mental strength improving then I can do some real damage. Every day I talk to the kid I was in the 1970s and say ‘you’re not done yet.’ If I don’t win another tournament, then it won’t be for not trying.”
White also looks back on his run of six World Championship final defeats in the 1990s and names his worst moment as the 1992 final against Stephen Hendry when he led 14-8 before losing the last ten frames.
“That was sickening, that summer was probably the worst one,” the 60-year-old Londoner recalls. “I was walking my dog around Oxshott woods thinking ‘what have I done there?’ My preparation was shocking. I outplayed him for the first day and a half because I was playing better than him. In those days I liked to help people and I had so many friends there, I was sorting out hotels and talking to people about who was going to come on to the floor if I won, when I should have been resting. I ran out of steam towards the end. Stephen had a great way of going into his own zone, and the worse I got the better he played.”
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