“The Whirlwind” Jimmy White set to spin into Colchester’s Charter Hall

John Virgo, Cliff Thorburn, Michaela Tabb and Jimmy White

John Virgo, Cliff Thorburn, Michaela Tabb and Jimmy White - Credit: Archant

THE WHIRLWIND will come head to head with The Tornado in Colchester next Wednesday (May 15) when “People’s Champion” Jimmy White takes part in the Snooker Legends tour at the Charter Hall (7pm start).

The veteran cue master will be entertaining the crowds alongside Canadian Cliff Thorburn, as the duo take on “The Nugget” Steve Davis and “The Tornado” Tony Drago – known for his pacy play around the table – in a doubles game.

The game will bring back fond memories White, the best player never to have won a World Championship, as he partnered the late Alex “Hurricane” Higgins to World Doubles Championship glory in 1984, against Thorburn and Willie Thorne.

“The Snooker Legends Tour has been unbelievable,” said White, 51, who narrowly missed out on qualification for the recent World Championships in Sheffield, which was won by defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.

“It started off four years ago with the late, great Hurricane Higgins and it has gone from strength to strength.

“The event is obviously not as serious as the World Championships but the players still want to win every game and are trying their best. As far as an experience goes, it is great fun, people love it.”

The contest will be overseen by referee Michaela Tabb, while former player and star of TV’s Big Break, John Virgo, will introduce the players and then commentate in his own inimitable style.

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“The great thing is that, at the beginning of the show, John Virgo does a few impressions (of other snooker players), trick shots and then takes the mic and says all the things he would like to say during commentary at the World Championship. People hear a different side to him,” explained White.

This year’s tour boasts a stellar line up of snooker talent with the likes of O’Sullivan, seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry and fellow World title winners Ken Doherty, John Parrott and Dennis Taylor playing at events around the country.

New names such as Neil Robertson, Mark Williams and Joe Johnson have joined the Tour this year while Junior UK Champion Hannah Jones will make Snooker Legends history by being the first lady to join the exhibition player line-up, in Derby, on May 28.

As for White, he has no intention of stepping away from the baize.

“I still love playing. I have been playing for 30 years and I am still producing,” added White.

Tickets are £25 and VIP tickets are £70. Doors open at 6pm as does the VIP entrance.

Please note if you would like to purchase the VIP tickets please call the Charter Hall Box Office on 01206 282 020.

Customers are encouraged to leave their name and telephone number if the telephone diverts to voicemail.