A beautiful Crucible experience

11:56:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The Crucible - the last frontier
It is said that nothing compares to visiting the Crucible to see the World Championship of Snooker going on there, in front of your eyes, smell every minute of it, eat every breath of snooker there is and feel the history as you seat in your chair.

The magic behind what seems to be just a simple Theater, is more that words can express and if many times you've felt that tremendous energy, that positive tremendous energy coming your way just by looking at your telly, then imagine what it would be like to go there and fell it for yourself as you enter the arena.

Although it’s a small place for such a wonderful list of legends and snooker players, the Crucible has a special touch that it’s impossible not to like it ... but what am I saying here, to LOVE it! :-)) The intimacy that’s created just by being so close to the players gives it something that can’t be expressed, but only felt.

I have had the honor and privilege to talk with a true snooker fan and a huge Stephen Hendry’s admirer, Alyssa Taylor, her being able to go and feel the "Crucible fever" a couple of days ago. 

Her story about what she saw, heard and felt truly has moved me and for a few minutes in reading her testimonial I felt like I was there and I was seeing Hendry play and the great legends in the Winter Garden commentating about snooker.

Steve Davis, the man who dominated the 80`s
What I truly appreciate about her story is that it’s the story of a snooker fan, because so many of us think we are snooker fans, but in reality we are just "one player’s fan". So many of us think we understand snooker, but we really don’t, we just enjoy watching our favorite players doing their job. 

And although Alyssa loves Stephen Hendry, she can be a very objective observer when the situation requires, so that’s why I decided to share her Crucible experience with all of you.

I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did :-)

"As a major snooker fan I always love going to live matches but seeing my favorite player is always extra special.
Sunday 17th & Monday 18th of April 2011 I got to go and see Stephen Hendry for the first time at the World Championships in Sheffield, the hallowed ground that is The Crucible. I have been planning this trip for a couple of months but have wanted to go for 14 years, ever since I got in to properly watching snooker.
I have been a fan of Stephen’s though for about 20 years. I remember seeing him on Big Break back in the early 90`s and just thinking he was fantastic, ridiculously talented and of course gorgeous.

Stephen Hendry playing at the Crucible
When I arrived Sunday for the first time, I was in awe of the place! So much history and Stephen is the guy who has contributed far more to that history than anyone else in my opinion. Seven world championship titles is amazing for anyone’s career and I am so proud it's him that holds that record, something in this age of snooker that is going to be tough to match let alone beat with tournaments nowadays, anyone’s game!

Throughout the 80`s it was Steve Davis, 90`s it was Stephen Hendry and the 00`s there hasn't been one person dominating the game; there are a few names that come to your mind when asked who may win a tournament but never again will there be a Stephen Hendry, that I can be sure of! The day he retires will be a very black day for the sport as he is a great embassador for the game. I know he will always be involved in the game one way or another but not being able to go and see him play will be.........heartbreaking, devastating even, so getting to see him play in the venue he loves the most was an amazing experience, an honor even and something I will never forget.

Hendry as a young pup :-)
I wasn't sitting as close to him as I normally would in other tournaments, I usually like to sit directly opposite him, better photos and he always looks over at me which is thrilling, but looking back I am happy with where I was sitting. Sunday for the snooker I got to see, I was further back so higher up and yesterday for the pure fact I was closer to Stephen. Had planned to go to the Winter Garden to see him after he won for his post match interview but I had to leave to catch my train home which in all honesty, killed me as I missed the last frame too! I was literally crying on the platform knowing he was playing/winning and I wasn't there to witness it! But I'm glad he did win, I'm so proud of him, the way he battles on even when things don't look great for him, he's never lost that hunger for the win, it's not as strong as it was 10/20 years ago but it's still there!

The snooker I did see was just awesome and nerve wracking! The way he played on Sunday was excellent, two breaks over 100 and I have to say his long potting was the best I've seen from him in a long time. The next day he wasn't at his best and Perry definitely out played him but for some reason he was just having no luck, which in all my years of watching snooker I think is a major factor you need, so Stephen took advantage at the crucial times. I have watched the final frame back and I have to say Stephen looked resigned to losing while Perry was at the table but I am very thankful he missed the brown and Stephen went on to win!

Hazel Irvine, Steve Davis and Kenny Doherty
My other experiences of the tournament were awesome too! Monday I went in to town earlier to have a wander round and I went in to the Cue Zone and Ken Doherty, Steve Davis, John Parrot and Hazel Irvine were all rehearsing. I got very close to the front but hid behind two guys as I really didn't want to be on camera, lol!
But there was a gap and Ken looked over at me which I almost died at but I completely forgot how to smile so we kind of just stared at each other for about 5 seconds until I tore my eyes away from him, the next time he looked over I had regained my composure and smiled at him and thankfully he smiled back.

Steve then went and did an interview directly in front of me so I hid again behind the two guys in front of me but I have to say, he has the most gorgeous skin!! JP was as gorgeous and funny as always and looked much tanned. Terry Griffiths also wander over to the Cue Zone looking cool as always in black.

Was hoping I could go back for Stephen’s 2nd round match but sadly there are no tickets available so here's hoping he will stay in the top 16 and I will go back next year!"

Thank you, Alyssa! :-) xxx