Meet Top UK Snooker Player Kyren Wilson
World number 16 Kyren Wilson faced China's Ding Junhui in the first round of the Masters 2017 at Alexandra Palace on Sunday. Wilson made his debut at snooker’s premier invitation event dressed in a suitably smart grey three piece suit from Hawes & Curtis. Ding Junhui went on to beat Kyren Wilson 6-3 to reach next round.
Kyren Wilson burst onto the scene with his victory at the 2015 Shanghai Masters, beating Judd Trump 10-9 in a thrilling final. We caught up with the professional snooker player at our flagship store as he tried on the three piece suit he wore at the Masters this weekend.
You are one of the elite top 16 players on the world ranking list, what is the key to your success?
So far I’d say the whole experience has been a learning curve. I first turned professional when I was 18 years old, then I dropped off tour for two years and went back to a normal day job working behind a bar. Going back to the real world and doing a full time job made me appreciate snooker again, so I went away and worked very hard and since then I’ve never looked back.
Was snooker a hobby at first and then you turned professional?
No, it was always something I felt was going to be a career, it’s just I didn’t really exceed my ability in the first year. Maybe I took things for granted – I thought I had it too good, went away, worked hard and reassessed things.
How did you get into snooker?
It’s always been a very natural thing for me. I didn’t really watch it as a kid, it was just something I wanted to do. When I was about three years old my mum and dad bought me a toy golf set and instead of using it as a golf set, I put the ball on a coffee table, turned it around and started cueing, so I think it has always been in me. I played a lot of pool to begin with and I beat the former world champion Peter Ebdon at a charity pool match when I was six. He turned round to me and said: ”Get into snooker.” It was from that moment that I knew.
That must be amazing to know what you want to do at the age of six.
It was a bit of a gamble because my education took a back seat but I think in sport you have to give it 100% otherwise you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. I’m really pleased that I had the backing of my family and I was committed and worked hard. And so far it has paid off.
What are your pre-match rituals?
I always have my own routine before a match. I like to have a practice in the morning, then I go back to the hotel and I normally give myself around half an hour to have a shower, do my hair, all that jazz, and then have a practice and go onto my match - it’s like a set routine.
You chose the grey and pink check Hawes & Curtis suit for the Masters 2017. Why have you chosen it and what’s your favourite thing about it?
I’ve chosen this suit because I’ve always wanted a really nice grey suit and it’s a little bit different to your normal grey suit - it stands out and I think it makes a bit of a statement.
Do you like making a statement? Because traditionally snooker players tend to wear black suits with white shirts, so do you find that standing out helps your performance?
Having that feel good factor and knowing you look good and stylish and standing out, that sort of excites me and definitely helps my performance.
How do you unwind after a match?
I’m lucky enough to have a beautiful little boy who is two years old and it’s a pleasure to get home and see him and spend time with him.
What do you wear away from the bays?
I try and stay away from the tracksuit bottoms. I like to think snooker is a gentleman’s sport so I try to dress as well as I can. I like my jeans and my shirts and I tend to dress smart causal.
When you are playing snooker what do you look for in a suit? Do you always go for a stand-out piece? Or is it the fit that’s important for you?
The fit of a suit is very important. I’ve got to be comfortable because snooker is a very unique sport in terms of the body positions you have to get in to. I do like to stand out a little bit more and come across as a slightly different character.
If you were not a professional snooker player, what profession would you have seen yourself in?
I love adrenaline sports; I think it would be something to do with motor racing.
Oh really? So completely different to snooker?
I did a thing for World Snooker where we raced F1 Copy Cars- I blitzed everyone!
Is that your plan B if snooker doesn’t work out?
Yes, I could be the next Lewis Hamilton!
What is your signature look when you’re playing snooker?
I always wear a waistcoat with a blue trim and a black shirt. I like to strand out at a game; a lot of snooker players can be a bit boring and wear a traditional black suit and a white shirt, but I prefer something more eye-catching.
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