A KING of the baize who was once Hucknall’s top pool player has won a national snooker title — in New Zealand.
Barber Bayden Jackson (35) made his name in this country in eight-ball pool.
In 2003, he won the Hucknall Pool Open Championship and later went on to take a world title in the English Pool Association (EPA) arena with England.
But three years ago, he emigrated to New Zealand with his wife, Tara, who is also an accomplished pool player, and his daughter, Chloe, who turns six tomorrow (Saturday).
Now he has been crowned New Zealand’s national snooker champion after a nailbiting final against the two-time winner of the title, Chris Maltby.
After a week-long tournament, Jackson, who formerly lived on Nottingham Road, came up against Maltby in the best-of-15-frame decider.
Jackson made a blistering start, blitzing his opponent to take a 4-0 lead in the morning session.
He then looked certain to secure a prestigious victory when stretching his advantage to 6-2 — just two frames from victory.
But Maltby wasn’t finished and came storming back and eventually levelled the scores at 7-7. It meant the final of the competition went to a deciding frame for the third consecutive year.
Thankfully, Jackson held his nerve and took the last frame to scoop the trophy.
Speaking to the Dispatch, Jackson’s mum, Barbara, of Castle Donington, said: “I am so proud of him. It is unbelievable to think he is New Zealand’s champion. I am delighted.”
Jackson formerly played snooker and pool at Hucknall’s Spot-On club on Vine Terrace.
He was a member of the ten-man England team who won the title at the EPA World Championships in 2005 when beating Australia in a final televised lie on Sky Sports.
Bayden and Tara (37) also previously competed in the singles’ event at the same championships.