Just a year after announcing his retirement from professional snooker, Mansfield’s Lee Spick is firmly back in business on the green baize.
After a lengthy period of personal problems, Spick was persuaded by his family to give it another go and shocked even himself as, without much practice at all, he won the Q-School event at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield to qualify for two years back on the professional World Snooker Tour.
However, Spick (33) has already had to pull out of the first three events due to a lack of funding and is desperately seeking some urgent sponsorship backing.
Spick told Chad he had been suffering from depression over an access battle to see his children and had gone to live with his mother at Ingolmills to try to sort himself out.
However, dad Steve persuaded him to give his undoubted talent one more go – he was once ranked in the world’s top 64 – and, thanks to £1,000 backing from grandmother Pauline, he was able to enter the Sheffield event.
Spick didn’t expect much as he took on younger and far more match-sharp opponents.
But he saw off Darrell Whitworth 4-0, Sanderson Lam 4-2, and Darren Cook 4-3 before a 4-2 final success against Duane Jones.
“Winning it was a bit surreal,” he said. “I just didn’t expect it. I was playing against people who had been playing a lot more than me and practising and competing a lot harder than me.
“I honestly didn’t think I was capable of doing it any more with all the problems I have had in my life. I didn’t think I had it in me anymore.
“My state of mind hasn’t been good and the last couple of years have been a real slog. I have been to court five times in 18 months over access to my children. I have been suffering really badly with depression and had panic attacks.
“I finished up moving to Sheffield a couple of months ago to live nearer my girlfriend. I found a club in Chesterfield to play at – Lennon’s – and I didn’t even know anyone I could play, so ended up playing on my own.
“I really have to thank my dad and grandmother for their backing and Sean Lennon for doing me a favour with free practice.”
He added: “Entering the Q-School was a last minute thing and I never imagined I would get back on the Tour.
“But I can’t get around without some backing. I am hoping I can find some help as I would love to get back into the top 64 rankings now.
“The next event I can get to is in Rotterdam on 19th July and I don’t even have a passport at the moment. It’s not bad preparation, it’s just that I didn’t expect it.”
The potting ace played on the professional tour between 2000 and 2010 and reached the last 48 of the World Championships on two occasions in 2006 and 2009 when losing in the final qualifying round to former World Championship winners John Parrott and Steve Davis respectively.
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