World Snooker Final And After Party

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Earlier this month I went to see the World Snooker Championship Final in Sheffield with my friend Tristan.

It was my third time in Sheffield to watch the snooker, which you can read about here and here.

Tristan was already in Sheffield before me to see the earlier matches before the final.

I caught a train from Guildford to Reading early in the morning.

My train to Reading was around 20 minutes late, which worried me at first, as I had another train to catch from Reading to get to Sheffield.

I arrived at Reading station and luckily the other train I had to catch was there waiting.


Arriving at Reading train station

I got on the train and found my reserved seat and the train set off.

Two backpackers sat opposite me, a young woman and a young guy.

I bought a sandwich and some drink and waited for the long journey to take me to Birmingham.

Through the train window, I watched the countryside speed past me.

As the train went further north it past some through rolling hills and countryside, then some industrial areas including three large and high chimneys.

Some hours later, I got off the train at Birmingham, and then got on my final train to Sheffield.

Around twenty-five minutes later at 12.30pm, the train stopped at Sheffield.

As I got off the train, I saw Tristan waiting for me on the platform.

He told me that he had just seen off his girlfriend Kate, as she got on the return train heading the opposite way back to Guildford, just before I had arrived.

We left Sheffield station.

Outside the station, I saw the familiar fountains that I had last seen there in previous years. I took a few pictures with my camera.


Me by the fountains

We walked towards the hotel, which was the Novotel. I had stayed there before with Tristan the first time I went to Sheffield a few years ago.

It was a short walk to the hotel. We walked past a building that had a poem on the side of it.

We entered the hotel and Tristan showed me the room. I had a sofa bed to sleep on.


The Novotel our hotel

I unpacked my bag and then we left the hotel to walk towards the Crucible, which is where the snooker championships were being held.

We walked round some more fountains and giant balls.


Me standing by some more fountains


Tristan


Tristan by one of the metal balls

We walked through the Winter Gardens, which is a large indoor garden in a big glass greenhouse, a bit like Kew Gardens.


Sheffield's Winter Gardens

At a small café in the Winter Gardens, I bought a hot chocolate drink and a hot Panini, which had hummus and roasted vegetables inside it. The Panini tasted good.

We sat at some tables and chairs outside the Crucible whilst I ate and drank. It was quite windy and the wind blew away some of my serviettes off my table. Tristan took a picture of me eating.


Me eating a Panini

From where we sat, we watched some cheerleaders doing a display; I took some pictures of them.

After I had eaten, we had a look inside the snooker exhibition centre in front of the Crucible. At the entrance there was a hedge cut in the shape of a snooker player.

Inside was some people playing at a snooker table, and a wall of computer games. Tristan had a go at a snooker quiz game.


Inside the snooker exhibition centre


Tristan enjoying playing a computer snooker quiz game

It was now time to enter the Crucible to watch the first part of the snooker final.

The game was split into four matches across Sunday and Monday.

The final was between John Higgins and Shaun Murphy.

Outside the entrance of the venue Tristan took my picture.


Me outside the entrance of the Crucible

Inside the Crucible Tristan gave me my ticket, and we had a look around inside.


Tristan inside the Crucible

There were quite a few people inside.

I bought along a radio earpiece which Tristan’s girlfriend Kate had been using.

At the stall I paid for a snooker programme book.


The 2009 programme book

We sat at our seats inside the Crucible. Other audience members then came in and sat down.


Me and Tristan in our seats


The view of the audience from where we sat

From where we where sat, we were behind the snooker table in the third row, and the TV cameras were pointing in our direction facing the table. It is a good position, and it’s where we have sat in previous years.


The BBC camera crew getting ready for the live broadcast of the snooker final

Its interesting seeing it live, as you can watch the players, cameramen, audience, see the commentary box, and other things going on, which you don’t get to see on TV.


Tristan


Me


The commentary box

The MC then came on to warm up the crowd, his name is Rob Walker, we met him in person at an after party the day after, but I will write more about that later.


MC Rob Walker in the grey suit

Walker warned people to switch off their mobile phones before the match, and then he got the audience warmed up with lots of cheering.

The MC introduced some people in the audience who had travelled from other countries to see the match.

One eager fan was wearing a t-shirt and a bandela with his support for Higgins written across it.


An eager fan wears his support for Higgins

The referee then came on, who was an attractive Scottish female called Michaela Tabb.


Michaela Tabb the attractive female referee

The players were next on, and Rob Walker used his famous catchphrase of ‘Let’s get the boys on the baize’ as they entered.


MC Rob Walker "Let's get the boys on the baize"

As we watched the game, everyone sat in silence. I had a tickley cough that day, which was difficult for me not to cough so as not to distract the players. It made my eyes water trying not to cough. So I had to save my coughing for when the audience applauded a good shot, although a few slipped out whilst they were playing. My mum heard me coughing on live TV.

Although the audience was warned to switch off their mobile phones, a few started ringing, including an old gentleman in the front row, who couldn’t work out how to turn it off.

I listened to the commentary through the radio earpiece Tristan gave me, but the battery ran out, as his girlfriend had forgotten to turn it off when she had last finished using it.

At first, Higgins and Murphy were fairly even with their frames.

When the first match ended, we returned to our hotel.

Tristan was a bit disappointed that his favourite player Murphy was not in the lead, but he was still confident that he could win the final.

At the hotel we used the swimming pool. I had a paddle, as I can't swim.

When we left the hotel we had a walk round Sheffield.

We walked through a market and saw two people dressed as snooker players on stilts.


Snooker players on stilts

I liked the look of the food on sale at the market; all the stalls were selling different types of food from across Europe.


The market


Tristan walking through the market


Cheese from Holland


Lots of nice sweets and cake


Chocolate coated marshmallows

We then looked round a cheap second hand DVD and CD shop. I picked up a dance compilation which I was hoping to buy there, but they did not have the CDs for it, so I was unable to buy it. Tristan bought a few DVD’s.

Then we went into HMV. I bought a music DVD called Roy Orbison: Black & White Night to take home for my Dad as a gift.


Roy Orbison Black & White Night - Oh, Pretty Woman

Walking through the Winter Gardens, we were able to see through the window into the reception of the luxury St Paul's Hotel. Tristan spotted famous snooker player Steve Davis sitting inside reading a newspaper.

I saw some the Trams running through the city. I was hoping for a ride on one, but we didn't have time.


A tram running through the city

We had an evening meal in an ‘all you can eat’ Chinese buffet restaurant. Tristan spotted some family members belonging to famous snooker players eating in there.

I had a large plateful and some pudding, whilst Tristan ate several platefuls and a few puddings as well.


Me eating Chinese


Tristan enjoying his Chinese food

We then went back to our hotel, and then later returned back to the Crucible to watch the second part of the match.

I went to the desk that sold the radio earpieces and told them my earpiece was faulty, and they gave me another one free, which saved me buying one. I didn’t tell them the faulty earpiece was not mine and that the battery had worn out because it was left on.


The stall selling radio earpieces and snooker memorabilia

Higgins was leading the match against Murphy and the match ended with Higgins in the lead.


The Crucible at night

After the match, we returned to the hotel to watch a movie.


Tristan watching TV


Me feeling tired

The next day was the last two matches of the final.

Higgins was again leading during the first match of the day.

At the hotel I lost my mobile inside my sofa bed, Tristan was in stitches and took photos whilst I tried to get my mobile phone from out of the sofa bed.


Trying to reach my mobile phone that's fallen inside the sofa bed


Nope, my mobile is not there


Maybe its under here?

Tristan took some photos of us holding the snooker final tickets for the last session in the hotel room.

For the final match some of the audience were dressed smartly, with men in dinner jackets and bow-ties, with some women in evening dresses. The MC Rob Walker was also wearing a dinner jacket and bow-tie. I wore a black tie and tried to look fairly smart. A lot of people though were dressed in jeans and t-shirts though.


Me and Tristan at the final


The MC in his dinner jacket

I saw the Mayoress of Sheffield sit down in the audience.


The Mayoress

One guy who was dressed in a dinner jacket tripped down the steps and fell over on his way to his seat in front of me.

Famous sports presenter Ray Stubbs and snooker players John Parrot and Steve Davis were standing in the corners talking to the TV cameras in their dinner suits.

The champions cup was placed infront of the snooker table.

It was a good match, although fairly short, Higgins won the game.


Video showing John Higgins winning the 2009 World Snooker Championships

Everyone stood up, applauded, and cheered.

Ray Stubbs did a short interview with Murphy who lost the game, and then with the winner Higgins.


Ray Stubbs interviewing Shaun Murphy


Ray Stubbs interviewing the winner John Higgins

The paparazzi came in and stood behind the snooker table taking lots of photos of Higgins.


Higgins collecting the cup

I was able to take some photos of Higgins holding the cup. His family then came on. Higgins son was very shy and didn’t want to face the cameras.


Higgins with his family

Then the snooker players left, as well as most of the audience.

Some BBC crew started dismantling their cameras and equipment and taking it away.

As the final match was short, there was an extra snooker game played just for the remaining audience members.

Four famous snooker players came on, who were John Parrot, Ken Doherty, and two others I didn’t recognise.


John Parrot


Ken Doherty

The MC Rob Walker said that we can now switch on our mobiles, cameras, shout, scream and do anything we like.


John Parrot

I took pictures and a video of the match.


A short video of the match after the final

They had a game of snooker doubles and messed about whilst playing. John Parrot was the biggest joker of them all. One of the snooker players had a faulty microphone, which gave off a noise like farting, and John Parrot kept on making a joke of this.


Ken Doherty taking a shot

Parrot also did other funny things, like sit in the audience and wear a curly wig. It was funny to watch what was going on.


John Parrot sitting in the audience

After the snooker players finished they walked round the arena and Tristan got their autographs. I got my picture taken with John Parrot and my snooker final ticket signed by Ken Doherty.


Me standing next to John Parrot


Tristan with MC Rob Walker


My snooker final ticket signed by Ken Doherty

We asked a guy in the audience to take our picture in front of the snooker table. We then got chatting to him, and he invited us out for a drink that evening to a bar called the Graduate. His name was Brian. He told us about an after party where some of the snooker players would be, so we agreed to meet him.


Tristan and me sitting in front of the snooker table

Then we returned to the hotel and ordered some food to be brought up to our room. I ordered a veggie burger, but it tasted horrible and like beef, maybe it was a beef burger, so I could not eat it.

We then got changed and made our way to the Graduate bar. Tristan messed around in the lift. As the lift had mirrors inside. The photo looks quite funny.


Tristan messing around inside the mirrored lift

Brian was in the Graduate bar with three of his friends, two guys and a blond woman. One of the guys was wearing a funny tie with 'I love snooker' printed on it.

We got chatting to them about the snooker which we all had just seen.

We had quite a few drinks at the bar and Tristan started to get a bit tipsy.

The guy behind the bar rang the bell for last orders, as it was now near to closing time of the bar.

There was a man sitting slumped on a bar stool, who had passed out from drinking far too much. The bar staff could not wake him. They tried pouring a glass on water on his head, but it still did not wake him. A girl walked past him and pulled his stool away, which made him fall flat onto the floor, and he then woke up, everyone laughed at him as he staggered out of the bar. Tristan took pictures and a video of him, which I’ve included below. It looked like he was about to be sick.


The guy out cold on the bar stool


Tristan's video of the drunk guy falling on the floor

We left the bar and walked towards St Paul’s Hotel to where the after party for the snooker players was being held.

Inside the reception of the hotel, some of the guests were leaving. We spotted the winner Higgins about to leave the hotel. The girl who was with our group managed to get her picture taken with him. I tried to get my picture with Higgins too, but he was quickly ushered off to a car waiting for him outside.


Brian's female friend standing with John Higgins


Higgins quickly leaving

We had some more drinks at the hotel bar whilst trying to work out how to get into the after party downstairs, as it was invitation only.


Brian and his friend at the hotel bar


Brian's female friend and Tristan


Tristan sticking his tounge out and me

There were some guests leaving and we got talking to some of them, and we managed to get their tickets.


The invitation ticket to the snooker players after party

We were now able to enter the event past the security with the tickets we were given.

The party was inside a large function room that had many tables where the guests had previously been sitting for their meals.


Me gate crashing the snooker players after party

The tables were now mostly empty and most of the guests were on the dance floor.


The tables and dance floor

We spotted quite a few celebrities. Shaun Murphy was on the dance floor with the MC Rob Walker. At one point, Rob Walker was dancing on the tables, which was funny to see.


Shaun Murphy with Rob Walker


Rob Walker dancing on the tables

As we walked past the tables, we spotted reservation signs for John Higgins and Shaun Murphy’s tables. I took the table reservations home as a souvenir.


Me holding John Higgins table reservation

It was quite surreal to be on the dance floor with famous snooker players like Shaun Murphy and sports MC Rob Walker.


Tristan excited at being at the snooker players after party

I saw sports commentator Ray Stubbs standing by the bar chatting to someone.

I bought MC Rob Walker a drink, and we got chatting to snooker players Shaun Murphy and Ken Doherty. We had our pictures taken with them as well, which I’ve included below.


Me and famous snooker player Shaun Murphy


Brian's female friend, famous snooker player Ken Doherty, and me


Tristan and a famous snooker player

We also saw a well known snooker fan James, a big friendly chap with curly hair, who has been seen on TV quite a few times and been interviewed, as he is always at every single snooker game each year. We had our picture taken with him as well.


Me and snooker super fan James


James "I've got the best seat in the house" super fan

Brian and his friends were a great crowd of people.


Me at the back on the left, with Tristan on the right, and Brian below him

At around 4.30am in the morning we left the party and returned to our hotel. Brian and his three friends were also staying at our hotel and followed us.

Tristan and I managed to get a few hours sleep, and then we had to get up and pack our things.

We had breakfast in the hotel, and then we booked out.

We saw Brian and his friends in the breakfast area looking a bit hung over, we said our goodbyes to them, and exchanged our contact details.

It was then time to catch our train back home.

I felt a bit sick on the way back, as I was sitting backwards on the train.


On the train heading back home


Tristan on the train checking for messages on his mobile

I got back to Guildford in the afternoon.

I had a bit of a sleep sitting in a deck chair in the garden at home.

I had a great time in Sheffield.

Comments on World Snooker Final And After Party

1
Posted by Daisy | 25 May, 2009 3:52 PM | Daisy's home page | | Permalink

Ohh what a long post... but wonderful photos! I sure would love to have my photo taken by that fountain too!

Btw, thanks for the ec ad. I approved it now and it should be running in a few days!

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