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Ipswich: 2014 will definitely be a year to remember for snooker champ Mark Selby and Ipswich-born wife Vikki Layton who are expecting their first baby

PUBLISHED: 13:45 23 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:30 23 May 2014

Snooker world champion Mark Selby at home in South Wigston with his Ipswich-born wife Vikki Layton. Picture: Will Johnston/Leicester Mercury.

Snooker world champion Mark Selby at home in South Wigston with his Ipswich-born wife Vikki Layton. Picture: Will Johnston/Leicester Mercury.

Northcliffe Media Ltd.

When Mark Selby steadied himself to pot a routine black off its spot and finally become world snooker champion, it was not only his lifelong dream he was realising.

Mark Selby celebrates with his wife Vikki after winning the final of the Dafabet World Snooker Championships at The Crucible, Sheffield Mark Selby celebrates with his wife Vikki after winning the final of the Dafabet World Snooker Championships at The Crucible, Sheffield

Perched high up in the Crucible’s family seats, and increasingly put under the spotlight by live television cameras, his Ipswich born-and-raised wife Vikki Layton waited with bated breath.

The 36-year-old, a former professional pool player who represented Suffolk and the Republic of Ireland, was urging her husband to complete his recovery against defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan more than anyone.

“That last clearance was just amazing,” she said.

“When he went to pot the black I thought ‘he’s going to be world champion’ and was jumping up and down like a lunatic which did not help!”

Mark battled back from 10-5 down to beat O’Sullivan 18-14 in a final watched by almost six million people on May 5.

He dedicated the trophy to his father, David, who died of cancer when he was aged 16. Vikki raced down to the snooker table to pose for pictures alongside her emotional husband.

She was also pregnant with their first child.

“We kept it a secret so Mark could concentrate on the world championship,” she said.

She is now 13 weeks pregnant and is due to have the baby in November.

“I am really excited and looking forward to it,” she said.

“We will see how much it changes us. It will probably mean more travelling for Mark trying to get away!”

The former Holywells High School (now Ipswich Academy) pupil has twice travelled to China to support Mark this year.

She tours through Europe with him and attends major UK tournaments.

“It is not a glamorous lifestyle but because I played at a high level I understand the practice and focus it takes for Mark to be one of the best,” she said.

The couple still make time to visit Vikki’s parents in Ipswich, though. They can be seen at the nearby Gainsborough Labour and Social Club, enjoying a game of pool.

“They all watched Mark win the title at the club,” Vikki said. “I can’t wait until we go back and show off the world title.”

They first met through the professional pool circuit. Mark, 30, a former world pool champion, said a friend helped them exchange phone numbers before he finally found the courage to ask her out.

They got together in 2006 and she left Ipswich to move in with the so-called ‘Jester from Leicester’ two years later.

In 2010, Mark proposed to her on a gondola in Venice. They tied the knot in Cancun, Mexico, a year later.

He said: “Winning the world title for the first time was a fantastic feeling and achievement, and to be expecting our first child in the same year is a dream come true.”

The couple now have an extra £300,000. But judging by their recent past, they will most likely remain grounded.

When Mark won the Masters in 2008, he asked Vikki what she would like with an extra £150,000 in the bank. ‘A £28 lamp’ came the reply.

The family of a missing Suffolk woman have “serious concerns” about her safety, police have said.

A formation of Lynx helicopters made a stop at Wattisham Flying Station today to mark the end of the aircraft’s distinguished 40-year career with the British Army.

A former head teacher from Saffron Walden who was found with “horrific” child abuse images has avoided jail.

A man from Bedfordshire has been arrested in connection with a ram-raid in Long Melford.

A man and a teenager from Stowmarket have been charged with robbery along with a series of other offences.

More than four thousand people have signed a petition launched by a concerned Mum, urging the county council to scrap a controversial consultation into cutting free school transport.

Ipswich Town Hall is preparing for its 150th birthday with a major celebration at the end of the month.

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