David Gilbert says he now is no longer casual about his snooker
A few years ago, David Gilbert appeared to have lost his way in life. He was very talented in snooker but his casual attitude let him down.
“I felt that snooker was not relevant to me then, I’d turn up and play but I wasn’t really there. I wasn’t playing really well, I wasn’t practising. As long as I had enough money in my pocket for a pint of beer and a pack of cigarettes, I was happy,” said Gilbert, the World No. 16 from England, in a chat with The Hindu here on Tuesday.
“There were many bad decisions and I was off the rails for a bit of time.”
He was into potato farming for around six years and played in tournaments now and then.
And then it all changed after a close friend advised him about the value of life.
“He really helped me, sadly, he passed away five years ago, he had cancer,” said Gilbert.
“And then I met my wife, Abi, she was also a big factor for the big change in me.”
Gilbert, known as the ‘Angry Farmer’ in world snooker, is now playing the best snooker of his life.
Late last year, the 37-year-old led 9-5 against World champion Mark Williams, before losing the World Open final 9-10 in China and early this month, he finished runner-up to World No. 7 Kyren Wilson after a dramatic German Masters final.
This season has been a wonderful one for Gilbert.
Early this year, he got snooker’s maximum break, the 147, in a Championship League match, it was the sport’s official 147th 147.
Now the Englishman feels he is very close to his maiden world-ranking title.
“This season has been my best, I’ve won a few games which I wouldn’t have won in the past.”