Lines is on right track to follow in dad’s steps

Peter Lines pictured with his son Oliver
Peter Lines pictured with his son Oliver
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Peter Lines has one burning ambition – to play with his teenage son Oliver on snooker’s professional tour.

The 42-year-old Leeds cueman has been a professional for the last two decades, earning a living on the snooker circuit.

He enjoyed his best moment to date in 2009 when he reached the quarter-finals of the UK Championship, beating Mark Williams 9-8 at the venue. He also knocked out John Higgins in reaching the China Open quarter-finals in 1999 and played at the Crucible in 1998.

But, like any proud dad, he hopes that his 17-year-old son Oliver – a former English Under-14 champion – is destined for far greater things.

“It’s my main goal now, to stay on tour long enough to be a professional at the same time as Oliver,” said Lines.

“I know Geoff and Neil Foulds were both good players, but 
there have been very few father-and-sons in snooker over the years.

“I don’t think it will be long before Oliver is on the main tour, so I’m determined to keep my place until then.”

Oliver left school this year and now plays full-time, including weekly sessions with former world champion Shaun Murphy, and even has his own sponsor as he looks to break onto the main tour for next season.

“He was keener on football when he was younger,” said Lines. “But after he won the English Under-14s he decided to concentrate on snooker. He has never had much coaching, he just had an eye for it straight away.

“I’m glad I never had to coach him because, to be honest, I don’t understand that side of things myself, I have always been the type to just get down and play rather than think about what I’m doing.

“But I have been able to help Oliver with his temperament and that’s where I try to guide him. I see a lot of young kids who behave badly around the table, banging their cues and losing their temper.

“That’s never going to help them in the long run. I tell Oliver to model himself on the likes of Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy, who keep calm and don’t lose control of their emotions.

“I’m pleased he wants to have a career in snooker because there’s nothing better than doing something you love for a living.

“It’s a lot better than hearing an alarm clock going off every morning and going to a job you don’t like.”

Oliver has played in the PTC series this season and achieved some impressive results. Notably he scored a 4-3 win over Joe Perry, a player on the brink of the top 16, at an event in Gloucester. The teenager is now aiming to qualify for the 2012-13 main tour, either via the PTC series or the new EBSA Qualifying Tour.

“The quicker he gets on to the tour, the sooner he will gain the right type of experience,” said Lines.

“He might get a few hammerings in his first season, but we all have to go through that and it will stand him in good stead if he learns from it.

“I definitely think he can go a long way in the game. He’s not going to be a Ronnie O’Sullivan who bursts on to the scene and starts winning things. But he has the three main things you need in snooker: sound technique, a good attitude, and he loves practising.

“If he can keep those attributes for the next four or five years then he can go as far as he wants,” said Lines, who yesterday missed out on a chance to return to next weekend’s UK Championship at York Barbican.

World No 58 Lines lost 6-4 in the qualifying rounds in Sheffield to Luca Brecel, an exciting young player from Belgium, who at 17 is just a few months older than son Oliver.

“I didnt really ever get going early in the match, was 4-0 down and battled back to 5-4,” said Lines. “But he is a classy player and wasn’t going to blow it. He is the wonder-kid bursting onto the scene. He has a lot to learn but his talent is there. He just goes for every shot like a young Neil Robertson.

“It is a sickener for me. I am gutted, because I really fancied my chances.”

And after being drawn against Stephen Maguire in the next two Player Tour Championship events, in Scotland and Munich, Lines know his chances of success this side of Christmas are limited. “I have an appalling record against him,” said Lines. “I think I beat him once when he was about 12.”

In yesterday’s qualifiers, Andy Hicks finished his match against Daniel Wells in perfect style with a maximum break.

The 147 came in the last frame of a 6-2 victory for Cornwall-based 39-year-old Hicks as he progressed to a third round meeting with Mark Joyce.

World No 64 Hicks, who reached the semi-finals of the UK Championship in 1995, earned a £2,500 bonus for his maximum.

But there will be no fairytale return to York for snooker legend Jimmy White, who lost 6-5 to India’s Pankaj Advani.