Jago Bidmead has been a fan of snooker for nearly thirty years. His fascination for the sport began to take shape when he watched Terry Griffiths win the World Championship in 1979. Although inspired at the age of ten, three more years passed before Jago was able to play on a full-size table and finally put his curiosity into practice.
It didn’t take long for Jago’s interest to develop into a serious pastime. Recognising his own talent and drive for the sport, Jago would walk the six miles from his home to the snooker club every Saturday, knowing that he would have to wait his turn behind a queue of other eager players.
He says, “I would wait about an hour for the table, play for an hour, and then walk home again”. At the time, it cost £1.20 to book the table for one hour, so Jago would use most of his £2 weekly pocket money to secure his sixty-minute slot.
As he grew up and other hobbies were outgrown, snooker was the one interest that Jago continued to be passionate about.
He was even fortunate enough to find a like-minded partner to practice with and compete against.
“My brother, Ralph, also became interested in snooker and when we were both working, we would play on a regular basis, sometimes three times a week.”
Being well matched in ability, they were able to enjoy some great games and even received lessons from Frank Adamson, who advises world number one, Ronnie O’Sullivan. It is clear that the lessons have paid off as Jago says, “Our games have come on leaps and bounds. I achieved my first century (a score of 108 against Ralph) about five years ago and I continue to love playing the game. The club I play at, Keynsham Snooker Centre, has a great atmosphere and the standard of players is reasonably high”.
Even when travelling, Jago does not forget his love for snooker. He says, “I always make a point of trying to play at least one game in each country I visit”. The most memorable game for Jago was when he played at Jesselton Sports Club in Kota Kinabalu (formerly called Jesselton) in Borneo where his grandfather once worked and lived with his family, including Jago’s father.
He says, “I still have a tankard that my grandfather received as a runner up in 1922, which is some five years before the first World Championship was even held. So you could say snooker has been in the family for a long time!”
Although Jago didn’t think he would ever buy a personalised number plate, believing them to be somewhat pretentious, he could not resist expressing his ultimate passion on his car for all to see.
“The plate SN03 KER combined my love for snooker and my Mini so I felt I just had to have it. Fortunately, I was able to afford it, and I’m happy as it’s unlikely to go down in value”.
Now, with the plate safely displayed on his Mini, Jago will literally be able to take SN03 KER with him, wherever he goes.