Fresh from competing in the 6-Reds Snooker Tournament in Bangkok, former World Snooker Champion from Ireland, Ken Doherty, and one of the most famous and legendary players of the game, Jimmy White, travelled to Pattaya for a series of exhibition matches.
On Sunday afternoon, and in between their busy schedule, they visited the Father Ray Children’s Home where they were welcomed by more than one hundred children, workers and volunteers.
The children presented garlands of flowers to welcome the two snooker legends.
Upon arrival at the Home the two VIP’s received welcome garlands from the younger children, who impressed the visitors as they were all dressed in traditional Thai costume.
A valuable lesson from a former World Champion.
Recently two pool tables were donated to the Children’s Home and it has become a very popular pastime for all the children, boys and girls, and a group of selected children were sitting nervously near each table as they waited their turn to play the legends.
First up to play against Jimmy White was a young twelve year old boy who goes by the name of Dream and who is not quite tall enough to reach the center of the table. But Dream played well and it came down to the black ball to decide the winner, which to everyone’s surprise the young twelve year old potted; and no one was more shocked than Dream when he realized he had won, and who he had beaten.
While Jimmy was playing his opponent, Ken was on the second table and showing the older boys some of the skills that made him the 1997 Snooker World Champion, and very impressed they were.
After more than an hour of non stop games the visitors were surrounded by the children asking for autographs. T-shirts, shorts, school books, scrap pieces of paper and even hands were signed, and it took a further thirty minutes before everyone had their photos taken with both Jimmy and Ken.
It was a day the children at the Father Ray Children’s Home will never forget, the day two sporting legends came to visit and even though the visit was part of a very busy schedule both Jimmy White and Ken Doherty showed everyone what true gentlemen they really are.
Another reason for coming to Pattaya was for Ken and Jimmy to discuss the possibility of organizing, in 2014, a snooker tournament which will be named the ‘Pattaya Open’. This competition will involve eight players, four Thai and four foreign, played at a local venue, and which will hopefully become an annual event.
More information about the Father Ray Children’s Home can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email [email protected]
Jimmy White, with his namesake, James, a teacher at the Home.
T-shirts, hands, paper and snooker balls were just some of the items Jimmy signed.
It was all down to the final black ball.
This young lady proved that snooker is not just a man’s game.
Ken signs autographs for his new fans.
Jimmy did not seem to upset after losing to twelve year old Dream.
The welcoming committee.
The children were very impressed with the skills of the two players.