Woollaston
World No 69 Ben Woollaston married Tatiana in her home town of Pinsk in Belarus last weekend.

 

The two 24-year-olds met at last season's Paul Hunter Classic where she was refereeing. A whirlwind romance followed, culminating in their wedding which featured a snooker-table shaped cake.

 

Former European Under-19 champion Ben, who reached the last 32 of the Welsh Open in 2007, said: "We met backstage at the tournament in Germany and got on well straight away. In the new year I went to live in Belarus for a few months at Tatiana's flat in the capital Minsk, not far from Pinsk where her family live. People might think we've done things quickly but we knew it was right."

 

The wedding was attended by 35 guests including Tatiana's family and Ben's mum Joy and best man. "Weddings are a bit different over there," said Ben. "In the morning you go to where the bride lives and meet her there. Then you go to a registry office to get married. Then from 5pm until midnight there was a lot of eating - and drinking champagne and vodka! It was a lot of fun and a perfect day."

 

Ben, from Leicester, is back in the UK but Tatiana has to stay in Belarus for another few weeks until she can get her passport updated and join him. She plans to continue refereeing in the PTC events and hopes eventually to officiate in ranking events.

 

During his time in Minsk, Ben was able to play and give some coaching in the country's only snooker club, which has six tables. "They do follow snooker a bit, but they prefer Russian billiards and there are about 200 tables for that game," he said.

 

As for his prospects on the baize this season, he added: "I lost in the first round of the PTC this week but I'd not played for a month before that so I just looked at it as a warm up for next week's Australia qualifiers. I'm feeling good about this season, I want to get into the top 64 and play a few matches on TV."