Amateur potter Mitchell Travis may hail from the city of snooker but he caused shockwaves in York yesterday when he beat world No 6 Marco Fu in the first round of the williamhill.com UK Championship.
The 21-year-old is one of seven amateur players handed a place at the York Barbican after seven professionals failed to enter snooker’s second biggest tournament.
He was classed as a 1,000-1 outsider when the tournament cued off on Tuesday, with Fu boasting rich form after winning the Australian Goldfields Open and reaching the final of the International Championship this season.
The Hong Kong cueman was in front throughout and at 5-4 ahead needed just one more frame to secure his second-round spot.
But the gritty Sheffield youngster refused to lie down, levelling the match before a 43 break give him the edge in the decisive frame.
Fu took the match to the colours, but Travis was not to be denied as he dropped the yellow, green and brown to register one of the biggest shocks in UK Championship history.
Afterwards, Travis dedicated victory to his father Gary and granddad Terry who were inside the Barbican to witness the giantkilling act.
“I haven’t got words for that yet, it’s the biggest win of my life,” he said. “Before the match I knew I had nothing to lose.
“I came here as a rank outsider and thought as long as I don’t make myself look like a muppet, I’ll enjoy it.
“I was 2-0 down and went to the toilet and just had a word with myself to just play my natural game and not to put pressure on myself and luckily I came through.
“The venue was absolutely marvellous and it was a dream come true to play here, I’ll never forget it.
“My dad Gary and my granddad Terry were both in the crowd watching and they’ve both taught me how to play since I was three years old.
“This result goes to them,” added Travis, who next plays Kurt Maflin, who beat Liam Highfield 6-4.
This evening, it is the turn of Keighley amateur Dylan Mitchell to make a name for himself. But the 18-year-old faces a daunting first-round match, against world No 1 Neil Robertson.
There was disappointment for Sheffield-based Pankaj Advani after he crashed to a 6-1 defeat against China’s Tian Pengfei.
His Indian countryman, Aditya Mehta – the pair are based at the city’s Star Academy – also lost, 6-2 to Robbie Williams.
Leeds amateur Sanderson Lam lost 6-2 to world No 5 Stephen Maguire.
“It was tough playing world No 5,” said Lam.
“You don’t really get many chances against him and when you do, you have got to take them. But I enjoyed it.”