The Outlaw has been in the World semi-finals twice and the final of the Welsh Open.

 

DOB: 29/8/69

 

Lives: Belfast

 

Turned pro: 1991

 

Best Ranking Performance Runner-up, 2009 Welsh Open

 

Money list earnings 2012/13 + 2013/14 £15,610

 

Highest Tournament Break 142 - 2000 China Open

 

Swail returned to the main tour in 2013/14 after a year's absence. His best run during the season took him to the quarter-finals of the Paul Hunter Classic as he won four matches before losing to Gerard Greene. He also won his first two matches in the World Championship qualifiers before losing to Li Yan.

 

Swail was relegated from the main tour at the end of 2011/12 after a series of poor results, but competed in the PTC events the following season with immediate success. He reached the final of the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany, beating the likes of Shaun Murphy and Barry Hawkins before losing to Mark Selby.

 

At the 2009 Welsh Open in Newport, Swail reached the first ranking final of his career. After beating Marcus Campbell 5-3 to qualify for the venue, he saw off Mark Allen 5-3, Martin Gould 5-1, Stephen Maguire 5-4 and Neil Robertson 6-4 to book his place in the final.

 

"You have no idea what this means to me," said Swail. "After 18 years as a pro I'm in a final and I can't believe it. I thought I'd missed the boat in the mid-90s after messing with my game, and all the parties and drinking. Now I've got a second chance. I'm 39 and I might never get another one so I've got to take it. It's what I set out to do. I've got a monkey off my back now, people have been going on about how many semi-finals I've lost in for 15 years which has been annoying. I'm just so delighted."

 

The Ulsterman looked in control of the final against Ali Carter when he led 5-2, but Carter turned on the style in the closing stages to run out a 9-5 winner and leave Swail clutching the runner-up cheque.

 

"When I did get a chance I'd had no table time so I was cold. On paper it looks as if I collapsed, but there wasn't much I could do," he said. "I wasn't used to that scenario but it was an enjoyable kind of pressure. To have millions of people watching on TV and thousands at the venue including your family and friends - you're out to impress. I've loved the week and it's a pity it's come to an end."

 

The Belfast cueman is one of only two players to regain a top 16 place after dropping out of the top 32 (the other is Rex Williams).

 

The player with the unorthodox but effective cue action won the Irish Professional Championship in 2005 for the second time in his career, beating Ken Doherty 9-7 in the final in Templelogue.

 

Nicknamed the Outlaw - a nod to the classic 1976 western The Outlaw Josey Wales - Swail appeared in nine ranking event semi-finals before his first final.

 

Two of those came at the Crucible. In 2000 he beat Paul Hunter, John Parrott and Dominic Dale before losing 17-12 to Matthew Stevens.

 

And a year later he enjoyed another fine run at Sheffield, knocking out defending champion Mark Williams, but went down 17-11 to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the semis.

 

Swail, who captained Northern Ireland in the Nations Cup, is congenitally hearing-impaired but believes that may give him an advantage in snooker because it lessens the effect of crowd noise.