White looked in good shape at the recent World Open
Jimmy White has lost several stone through dieting to boost his bid to keep his place on snooker’s professional tour.
Whirlwind White is now playing his 37th consecutive season on the professional circuit, but faces a battle to retain his tour card as he currently lies 103rd in the world rankings.
The 54-year-old proved his ability is still intact when he made a maximum break in practice last week. A video of the 147 was captured on CCTV at the snooker club in Coulsdon, and made its way online.
“I didn’t even know there were cameras in the club, then before I knew it the video had gone viral,” said White. “People were ringing me up saying they had seen it and how well I was cueing.
“I feel the best I have for a long time because I have lost a lot of weight by watching what I eat. I’m doing exhibitions all the time, travelling around the country, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of eating badly. So I have been careful for the past few months and it has worked. I plan to keep going and lose more.”
The player nicknamed The Whirlwind remains a favourite among fans across the world
If White fails to climb into the top 64 of the world rankings by the end of this season, he will have to rely on being one of the eight next-best players on a separate one-year ranking list to keep his professional status.
“I intend to keep my place on the tour for at least another few seasons and that’s my goal,” said the winner of ten ranking events. “I don’t want to have to rely on getting a wild card. I have never lost my love for snooker, I’m still working hard at it and I believe I’ve still got it in me.
“I beat Ali Carter in the Indian Open qualifiers earlier this season and then he went on to win the next tournament in China. There are so many great players now that it’s tough to win matches, but I can still do it.”
White is particularly looking forward to the new Home Nations series of events, where all 128 players will be at the venue. The series gets going with the English Open in Manchester in October, followed by events in Belfast, Glasgow and Cardiff.
“It’s fantastic for snooker and the sport has never been in better shape,” added White. “It’s a chance for fans to watch everyone play. And the £1 million bonus for any player who wins all four is a great idea, and there are three or four who could do it.”
Tickets for all Home Nations events are now on sale – for details CLICK HERE
English Open – Event City, Manchester, October 10-16
Irish Open – Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, November 14-20
Scottish Open – Emirates Arena, Glasgow, December 12-18
Welsh Open – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, February 13-19