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The A-Z of John Astley - Getting to know the Gateshead cueist

Astley assesses the table (credit:)

Following his dramatic victory over Kyren Wilson to qualify for the German Masters, we find out more about world number 79 John Astley on and off the table...

Abroad - What is your favourite holiday destination?
"I went to Cyprus this year. It's the first time I've been, but I'd certainly go back - I did really like it."

Book - What is the last book that you read?
"A couple of years ago, I read The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters."

Cue - What cue do you use?
"I've got a Green Baize cue - I've had it for about five years and am quite happy with it."

Day - What happens in a typical working day for you?
"I get to the club for about 10am, practise for about four hours or so and then di two or three hours of coaching afterwards. Sometimes, if I get chance, I also try and go to the gym a bit."

Education - How would you get on in a pub quiz?
"Probably alright - I've got a decent general knowledge, but I know more stuff to do with sports. I watch A Question of Sport and get a lot of questions right, but I'm not very good at history and subjects like that."

Film - What is your favourite film?
"I'd say the first Independence Day film with Will Smith - it's got a bit of sci-fi, action and comedy, which I like."

Goals - What are your aims for this season?
"To get as close to the top 64 as possible, take every match as it comes and qualify for as many tournaments as I can."

Hobbies - What are your interests away from the table?
"In the summer, I try to play a bit of Golf and Tennis. Also, I like spending time with my girlfriend, watching sport and following Newcastle United."

Idols - Who are yours?
"The greats of their sport like Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Stephen Hendry."

Job - What would you be if you weren't a Snooker player?
"I'd like to say that I'd be involved in sport another way - possibly something like a P.E teacher or Sports Journalism. When I was at school, I spent a week with a couple of local newspapers and quite enjoyed it. I also enjoy coaching Snooker."

Kid - Were you a well-behaved child?
"I think I was. I've got three other brothers, so our house was quite lively when we were younger. Three of us are close age-wise and I was the oldest, so I had to try and set the standard. We did used to fight, but I think I was alright."

Lucky - What is the biggest piece of luck you've ever had?
"Performing in The Nap - I was lucky getting the phone call for that just before last Christmas. They could have chosen a number of people to do it, and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had."

Moan - What makes you have a good moan?
"I'm fairly chilled out, but I don't like bad drivers."

Nightmare - What is your worst ever moment on a Snooker table?
"The worst one I've had so far was playing a match against Fraser Patrick in Poland. In a couple of frames, he needed snookers and got them before going on to win 4-3. It was really strange how it happened."

Oops! - What is the clumsiest thing you've ever done?
"Leaving my cue at home when I was going to a tournament in Prestatyn. I got about two-thirds of the way there before I realised and it was too late to go back! I borrowed someone's cue for my match the following day and actually won. My cue arrived the next day and I lost!"

Picky - Is there anything that you're particular about?
"Probably my hair - I'm always getting told off for checking it in mirrors!"

Quiet - How long could you last in a sponsored silence?
"My girlfriend knows that I'm a bit of a talker. Sometimes, when I'm away, I talk for about half an hour when she's only said two words!"

Retirement - What do you plan to do after hanging up your cue?
"The coaching's something that I'll be able to do for a long time. I also want to look into opening my own Snooker club - I think I'd have a good idea of how to do it and would want high-quality facilities."

Shopping - Where do you buy your clothes from?
"It varies really, but places like River Island, Zara and All Saints - well-known shops in your usual shopping centre."

Telly - What are your favourite programmes?
"I'm a Celebrity is one of them. I also like watching A Question of Sport and one of my little goals is to get on there in the future."

Unforgettable - What is your greatest ever moment on a Snooker table?
"Either the moment I turned professional or beating Ken Doherty at the UK Championship in my first season. I'd say turning professional - it was a dream come true and an unbelievable feeling. My dad was there, we were quite emotional afterwards so went around the corner and celebrated by having a sandwich in Subway!"

Venue - What is your favourite venue to play at?
"Obviously, I did the play at the Crucible. Although it wasn't playing properly, I did 27 consecutive nights in front of 1,000 people and the atmosphere was fantastic. In a tournament, beating Ken Doherty in the main arena at the York Barbican Centre was special. I'm also delighted to be going to the Tempodrom in February."

Wheels - What car do you drive?
"I have a Vauxhall Astra - I've had it for about three years, but I am thinking about getting a new one next year."

X - If you could kiss any girl in the world, who would it be?
"My girlfriend, Gemma - I'd have said that even if she wasn't sat in the room as we speak!"

Yikes! - Do you have any phobias?
"I'm not very comfortable with heights."

Zzzzz - What puts you to sleep?
"I generally go to bed quite late but, when I've had too much to eat or drink, I fancy a sleep."



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The A-Z of John Astley - Getting to know the Gateshead cueist

Following his dramatic victory over Kyren Wilson to qualify for the German Masters, we find out more about world number 79 John Astley on and off the table...

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