RIGHT ON CUE Bulwell lad Joe is snooker champion of England

THE NEXT GREAT? -- Joe Reynolds with his trophy after winning the titlle. Behind him, pictures of great champions adorn the walls
THE NEXT GREAT? -- Joe Reynolds with his trophy after winning the titlle. Behind him, pictures of great champions adorn the walls

A schoolboy from Bulwell is on cue to become one of the country’s best snooker players of the future.

For little Joe Reynolds has been crowned the all-England under-14 champion.

Now he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Judd Trump, who won the same title at under-13 and under-15 levels and whose name is on the trophy Joe has received.

The 23-year-old Trump is currently ranked as high as three in the world after reaching the world championship final and winning the UK Championship in 2011.

At Joe’s age, he even made the semi-finals of the world under-21 championships.

“Joe is ambitious and certainly has the potential,” said proud dad Darren Reynolds (42) this week.

“It will take a lot of hard work and practice, but he would like to become a professional one day. This was the biggest win of his career so far.”

That career began a few years ago when Darren took Joe to the renowned BCI Snooker Centre on Vere Street in Bulwell (formerly the Bulwell Church Institute).

“Joe took to snooker straight away and has come on leaps and bounds,” added Darren.

“He even has his own coach, well-known local player Barry Stark, who helps him a lot.”

The idea was to give Joe some valuable experience by entering him for the national under-14s’ competition, run by the English Association of Snooker and Billiards.

So what happened next was remarkable.

Joe (14) stormed through the qualifying stages, played at Clay Cross, near Chesterfield. He won three of his four matches to top the group.

That sent him through to the last 16, held at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, the main sponsors of the tournament.

In his opening game, he defeated Keiran Briggs, of Batley, West Yorkshire, 4-3. And then in the quarter-finals, he beat Halim Hussain, of Birmingham, 4-0.

A tight semi-final resulted in a 4-3 victory over London’s Adam Stacey, which set up a grand final at the Star Snooker Academy in Sheffield.

Joe had shown his never-say-die qualities against Briggs and Stacey, fighting back from 3-2 down. And they were in evidence again in the final when he trailed Leicester’s Chae Ross 2-0 but recovered to win 5-2.

Joe, who lives with dad Darren, mum Sam and brothers, Tom (16) and Jacob (two), at the family home on Clarges Street, received £100 and a £50 voucher for his success.

Now the Nottingham Bluecoat Academy pupil is looking forward to many more tournament triumphs.

Who knows? He might emulate the feats of Bulwell’s famous former cuemaster, Tony Matthews.

Matthews, who died at the age of 57 in 2002, was runner-up in the British boys’ snooker championship in 1960 and British junior snooker champion in 1962 and 1963.

He was a crack billiards player too and went on to many more successes in local tournaments,

Like Joe, Matthews also learned the game at Bulwell Church Institute, where his father, Harold, was steward for many years.