Teenage Snooker Sensation's Everton in the Community Backing

Teenage snooker prodigy Sean Maddocks will guarantee global exposure for Everton in the Community when he sports the charity’s logo on his waistcoat during this month’s Championship League competition.

Maddocks is preparing for a “baptism of fire” on the World Snooker Tour after “outgrowing” the amateur branch of his sport.

The 18-year-old Evertonian, who watches games from Goodison’s Park End when his own sporting commitments allow, usurped six-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan as the youngest player to compile a maximum 147 break when he achieved the feat aged 15.

Maddocks was runner-up in this year’s World Junior Open and is ready to make an impression on the professional scene.

He has been drawn in a four-man Championship League group which features four-times World Championship quarter-finalist Anthony Hamilton and Michael Holt, winner of this year’s prestigious Snooker Shoot Out.

If he has a devilish task on the table in his second ranking tournament – Maddocks competed in February’s Shoot Out event – then the greatest challenge of the player’s young professional career comes in the form of attracting sufficient financial backing to alleviate external pressure.

“This is the right time for me to make the transition into the professional game and consistently compete with the world’s best players,” Maddocks told evertonfc.com.

“The only way to continue progressing is to test yourself in elite company and you discover an awful lot about yourself and your game in this environment.


“It is a baptism of fire but now is the time to learn.

“There is additional pressure, though, from knowing my ability to pay my way depends on results.

“My parents are fantastic and have made so many sacrifices to support me and help financially.

“But there is an enormous difference in the costs associated with playing on the professional and amateur tours.

“Some form of sponsorship would lift a big weight and enable me to concentrate exclusively on snooker.”

Maddocks’ initial tie-in with EitC, Everton’s official charity, extends through his involvement in the 128-man Championship League, which began on 13 September – the Merseysider's bid gets under way this Sunday – and will be screened by Eurosport and Matchroom.Live.

The same competition in June was a ratings hit. Eurosport’s coverage had 2.7 viewers, more than 1m watched in China and ITV4 peaked at 600,000 tuning in, with 400,000 glued to the free-to-air channel at midnight for one match involving 1997 world champion Ken Doherty.

Maddocks, who is already eyeing a time when he can have an active role supporting EitC, is guaranteed a minimum three matches at the Milton Keynes event.

He would advance to stage two next month by topping his group.

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The snooker calendar is rammed with illustrious competitions before the end of 2020, with the UK Championship, a triple-crown event, European Masters, English Open and World Grand Prix all on the immediate horizon.

Maddocks’ father Steven and manager Colin Flood are both engaged in trying to find backers for the teenager.

One confirmed fan is four-times world champion – and four-times runner-up – John Higgins, who was so impressed by Maddocks in an exhibition match he sent his opponent a practice table.

“Sean is practising eight-to-10 hours a day, six days a week,” said Flood.

“His parents rent a space behind a wholesalers for him to practice.

“His parents have financed everything but moving from the amateur to professional tour brings a lot of additional expenses.

“Whatever he earns in the first season is all his.

“We have an enormous amount of belief in his talent and attitude, which is exceptional.

“He has certainly outgrown the junior and amateur scenes and is ready for this stage.

“Everyone in his management team has made a commitment to support him and get him to that next platform, to enter tournaments without worrying about how he’s getting there and what it will cost.”

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Maddocks has eschewed the absolute management model favoured by a majority of snooker professionals in order to retain the services of long-time coach Neil Johnson.

“Sean wanted to continue with Neil, who’s been with him since day one and had a big influence on his progress,” added Flood.

“He and his parents wanted to follow a different [management] route, which is why we are involved.

“We are trying to put him in his snooker bubble and make everything off the table more manageable and easier to understand.

“The tour is a fast-changing business at the moment because of the global situation, a lot of things are subject to change: venues, the structure of tournaments and where you are going to stay.

“For a young player to deal with that volume of information every day is intense.

“He is a young lad from the city of Liverpool – and wants the city to get behind him and help him reach the next level.”