How Well do you Know Jimmy White? A Q&A with the Whirlwind
We are all fans of Jimmy, right? But, how well do you know Jimmy White? Much has been written over the years about the ‘whirlwind’, but even the most die hard fan won’t know some of what’s revealed to us today. Jimmy’s long time manager and friend, Kevin Kelly, asks Jimmy the questions, so expect a bit of banter!
What is your full name?
“James Warren White, named after my Grandfather”
Where and when were you born?
“I was born in Tooting, South London, in 1962”
What is your earliest childhood memory?
“My Dad getting a red Transit van, when I was 7yrs old”
What was your favourite meal as a child?
“Pie and mash”
As a child did you ever want to be anything other than a snooker player? Train driver? Astronaut?
“I always wanted to be a snooker player, from the age of 9”
If you could be 10 years old again, just for one day, what would you do?
“Ride my bike”
When/Where did you first pick up a cue?
“I first picked up a cue in Balham when i was 9 years old”
Who did you look up to, aspire to be like, in snooker?
“Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins”
How old were you when you got your first 100 break?
“13, I made the national newspaper, got into the Daily Mirror, kids make 147’s at that age now”
Do you remember the first time you played a frame for money? Did you win? How much?
“It was for… £50, which in them days was a red ten bob note. You’d remember that Kevin, you’ve probably still got some?” I actually have one ironed. “You’ve probably still got a white fiver you, haven’t you?” I’ve got a ten shilling note “Have you? Red, yes. It was ten shillings, I was about 13”. and did you win? “Of course.” Sorry for asking that!
When did you realise you were good enough to become a snooker pro?
“Very young, I was what you call a boy wonder, there was a few boy wonders around and I remember going to Neasden snooker club when I was 13, I’d just won the boy’s championship’s and the great, late, Ronnie Gross invited me over to his club and the word got round about me and actually Willie Thorne drove from Leicester to have a look. So, thirteen I knew I was going to be a world beater.”
What was the first snooker competition you ever won, at any level?
“I would say it was the boys championships, at 13” (Kevin clarifies it was the English boys championships)
What is/was your favourite single match victory, and why?
“It was definitely the UK championships, I beat John Parrot by 3 frames but It was 1 each all the way to 14 each and I won 17-14.”
If you could replay any shot in your career which one would it be? Black versus Hendry is what most people would guess, maybe you have another?
“No, I would agree. You know, I just twitched at that black, hit it too quick.”
Do you believe in ‘talent’, or being ‘gifted’, or do you think that hard work gets you to the top?
“Well, I think to be talented you have to put the hard work in to find out if you’ve got any talent. Talent doesn’t win alone, you know, you have to put in the practice.”
Triangle or Taom?
What is your favourite type of food?
Do you like to cook?
“Occasionally I cook the odd breakfast, but there’s so much clearing up I’d rather go to a restaurant.”
Tea or Coffee?
Cats or Dogs?
Do you have a ‘can’t live without’ item in your life? Something you’d have to have on a desert island?
“My man-bag” (Jimmy smirks then smiles)
Could you live without the internet?
Do you believe in luck, or do you think we make our own?
“Well, two answers to that question, as you know we’ve been in some, seen some, quite a bit of gambling in our careers Kevin, with the poker we play with Mark and myself and I think you make your own luck, but when your luck’s in you have to ride it, and you’ve got to know when your luck’s in.”
What is your favourite hobby, not snooker?
What would be your ideal day?
“My ideal day would be, I’d wake up in my place in Thailand, go for a walk on the beach, and go out and have a nice lunch with Phil” (Phil is a close friend of Jimmy)
“Ohhhh! Tough one…Heavy metal” (1981 Canadian Sci-fi anime fantasy)
“Movin’ by Brass Construction”
If you could have lunch with one person, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?
“My Dad, because I miss him.”
Take a look at the signed Jimmy pro cue.