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I met the snooker player Jimmy White when I was at the Collectormania event held in London's Olympia in November 2010. He signed a photograph for me and then I had this photo taken with him.
James Warren 'Jimmy' White was born in Tooting, London, in 1962. He never achieved academic success because he often played truant from his school, the Ernest Bevin Comprehensive in Earlsfield, South London, preferring to spend his time at Ted Zanicelli's snooker hall. Although illiterate,,
Jimmy White signing my photograph
illiterate, White's talent for the game led to a successful amateur career, winning the
the English Amateur Championship in 1979, and in 1980 became the youngest-ever winner the World Amateur Snooker Championship when he was only 18.
White established himself as a top professional in 1981, and for the past thirty years, has played consistently at the highest level.
White - the young professional
White & Steve Davis before the 1984 final
The World Championship title has, however, eluded him although he has reached the final at Sheffield's legendary Crucible Theatre on no less than six occasions!
The first of these losses was
was in 1984, when he was defeated by the reigning World Champion Steve Davis. White was then a finalist in each of the five consecutive years from 1990 to 1994. In these finals he was beaten four times by Stephen Hendry and once by John Parrott. As Jimmy White said in 2008, "People say that I'm the best playe
Jimmy White at the table
player never to have won the world championship but I've won 10 ranking tournaments and 27 invitational tournaments".
Jimmy White wins the Sangsom 6-Red World
Grand Prix trophy in Bangkok in 2009
White after his World Championship
147 maximum break in 1992
Nicknamed 'The Whirlwind', White is one of only six players to have completed a 147 maxim
maximum break at the World Snooker Championships - he did this against Tony Drago in 1992. He is left-handed, and has compiled more than 255 competitive century breaks during his career.
In his heyday, as well as being a brilliant snooker player, White was also a hardened drinker and gambler. He reckons that he has blown at least £1 million gambling and around £500,000 on drink during his professional career..
Jimmy White is also a top pool player
Jimmy White at the table
Although best known for his snooker, Jimmy White is also a top pool player. Along with Steve Davis and Alex Higgins, White was a member of Europe's victorious Mosconi Cup team of 1995.
Click here for Jimmy's career highlights.
In the late 1990s, White
White's bull terrier, Splinter, was stolen, held for ransom and became the first dog to have a colour poster on the front page of The Times! Splinter was returned after White paid out to get him back.
Jimmy White had a cameo film role as himself in Legend of the Dragon (1990) and in the film Jack Said (2009) he played the part of Vic Lee, a dodgy snooker club owner.
Jimmy White as Vic Lee in the film Jack Said
In November 2009, White appeared in the 9th series of ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! He finished in third with the chef Gino D'Acampo winning.
White has also endorsed four computer games including Jimmy Wh
Lucy Benjamin & Jimmy White in Australia for
I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!
Jimmy White in I'm a Celebrity....
White is also a good poker player, winning the second Poker Million tournament in 2003. He is a keen supporter of Chelsea Football Club.
White's Whirlwind Snooker, and Jimmy White's Cueball World.
White is the Poker Million winner in 2003
Two books about Jimmy White have been written. His autobiography Behind the White Ball (mostly writt
ghost written by Rosemary Kingsland) was published in 1999, and Whirlwind, an unoff
unofficial biography written by a die-hard fan Aubrey Malone, appeared in 2009.
In August 2010, White was one of the pallbearers at the funeral of Alex Higgins. The two, who were both addicted to drink and gambling, had been friends during their playing days.
Alex Higgins & Jimmy White
White carries Higgins' coffin
Jimmy White, married his wife Maureen in 1980 (they are now divorced), and they had five children, Lauren, Ashleigh, Georgia, Breeze and Tommy.
In 1999, Jimmy White was awarded the MBE for services to snooker.
Jimmy White MBE
Jimmy White has signed this photo to me