Halifax schoolboy Stan Moody relishing his big break

Stan Moody’s school motto Excellere Contende translates to ‘Strive to Excel’ and the Halifax teenager is certainly doing that.

Stan Moody, 15, enjoyed a stunning debut in last week's Shoot Out. Picture: World Snooker
Stan Moody, 15, enjoyed a stunning debut in last week's Shoot Out. Picture: World Snooker

For the 15-year-old snooker prodigy – a pupil at Ryburn Valley High School in Sowerby Bridge – was catapulted into the national spotlight last week, when he became one of the youngest players to win a match at a ranking event.

His first-round win over Lu Ning in the televised Snooker Shoot Out was headline-catching, and another major step in the budding career of the reigning English Under-14 champion.

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Not bad for a player who only picked up a cue and started playing snooker six years ago, after playing on a pool table during a family holiday.

Stan Moody, 15. Picture: World Snooker

“I went on holiday with my family in 2015 and next to our room was a pool table,” said Moody, who leads the way in the Under-21 Premier Development Tour after four events this season. “It fascinated me. I asked my dad how to play, and it just went from there.

“We started doing junior competitions, and when I started winning, I thought ‘I’m decent at this’.”

His obvious potential prompted snooker legend Jimmy White to tip Moody as a future top-16 player, tagging the teenager as a ‘fantastic talent’.

But for now, Moody juggles his school work with his snooker commitments – he attends Ryburn Valley three days a week –and this week he was back in the classroom after his Shoot Out adventure in Leciester.

Stan Moody, 15. Picture: World Snooker

“My friends are not really interested about the snooker, I keep quiet about it at school,” Moody told The Yorkshire Post. “School give me Monday and Fridays off. Say I am in London on a Sunday, and then have to get up for school the next day, it doesn’t really work because I am then tired for my next session.

“I am very lucky to get time off. When I go back into school, all my mates say ‘I wish I was you, I wish we could just have three days at school’. But it’s proper work, training. It will feel weird going back to normal (after the Shoot Out).”

So how does Moody like school?

He chuckled, maybe thinking his teachers may be reading this, before diplomatically answering: “It’s alright.

“I like history and maths. I am in Year 10,” said Moody, nicknamed ‘The Action’.

“It was Robbie Watson from The Ambassadors of the Green Baize who gave me the nickname when he watched me play in an exhibition with Mark Allen after he had not long since won the Masters in 2018. “I think he was impressed with my cue action and said that I was ‘The Action’,” added Moody, who is sponsored by Double Vision Windows, Levels, Huddersfield, and Colletts Transport, Halifax.

Moody’s target is to go full-time on snooker’s professional Tour, after being given a taste at the Shoot Out.

So what’s next for the talented teenager?

“I have got the Premier Tour, which I am leading after four events,” said Moody. “We have two more events in February.

“Then there is the World Under-18s and the World Amateurs, the winner of those get a two-year Tour card. I will be looking to do well in them.

“The Shoot Out was an amazing experience. I know people will say it’s only one frame, but the experience of being on TV, playing in front of a crowd, was just fantastic,” added Moody, who is also a finalist in the English Under-16 and Under-18 Championships, to be contested in June.

“My style is a mixture of Ronnie (O’Sullivan) and Judd (Trump), natural and I go for my shots and like to be exciting.

“It was okay (at the Shoot Out). I was a bit nervous at first, but when I started potting the balls I was okay.

“In this game you have to love it, because there are so many lows. No matter what, I still enjoy it, and just try my best.”

Excellere Contende. Moody is certainly striving to excel.