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Dean Bavister

Dean Bavister

Dean Bavister

“I’m originally from Northamptonshire, and since December ’09 live in North Norfolk, near Fakenham. In 1991, aged 10, I went on a holiday to Hunstanton (now just up the road!) and that’s where I first picked up a cue, playing pool with my dad in the arcade, then later in the same holiday visiting a snooker club there. I lived in Rushden, and the Embassy Snooker Club was often frequented by the special young talent that was Shaun Murphy. He’d often play in the club’s Sunday tournaments, as the only youngster, and usually win! It is almost certainly this Murphy link that took me to the snooker club in Raunds (Cabreas Leisure at it was then known) as that was where Shaun regularly practised. A few years later, in October ’93, Mark Wildman took over the club (which became Raunds Cuesports), and introduced me to his beloved game of English Billiards (as well as carom!) which I’ve played ever since. In 1996 I won the National Under 16s Billiards Championship, which was held in Middlesbrough. Speaking live on the local radio almost immediately afterwards was probably more nerve-wracking! Throughout my junior years I played regularly in ABCs, national junior ranking events (winning some of those tournaments) and for England against N. Ireland three times between 1998 & 2000. Around this time I made 16 centuries in practise, best being a 143, and a highest of 96 in a match. I played too little between 2007-09, but after moving to Norfolk I started to increase my practise time as well as playing in the West Norfolk billiards league. 2016 has seen the strongest effort so far with much increased practise time, and 10 more century breaks, including a new best of 155, and my first century in a game, 100. I also scored my highest in red-ball in-off practise, 102 (34 hazards), three times. ‘Running the red’ has perhaps been the strongest part of my game since I started, and by a little coincidence, my current cue is an old fascimile of George Gray’s, the great red-ball player. It was given to me by the late Jock McGregor. I had it tapered so the tip-end was 9mm, more to my liking, though I would probably prefer 8.5 or 8mm. That work was carried out by the brilliant late cue-maker from Rushden, Mac Chambers, who made my snooker cue in 1993 which I used until my gift from Jock in about 2002. So I guess the basis of much of my play has been the red-ball, and I’m working hard to add in the top-of-the-table game in matches, which has also improved in 2016. Away from the table I play piano (mostly Chopin & Keane!) and compose piano music. I’ve also played in a local chess league for Fakenham 2011-15. My favourite sport on TV is Formula 1 and snooker. I love a nice sunny walk and enjoy a good cycle ride.”