Updated: Sunday, 24th March 2019 @ 6:39am

'Ian Brown is a legend': Stone Roses fan Holt happy to bring snooker to Manchester

'Ian Brown is a legend': Stone Roses fan Holt happy to bring snooker to Manchester

| By Adam Leah

Michael Holt made his fair share of Fools Gold in beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the World Grand Prix earlier this month, and will be hoping to recapture that form in the Ladbrokes Players Championship.

And the world number 30 is delighted that the tournament is being held in Manchester this week – because he is a massive Stone Roses fan.

The top 32 players in the world are competing at EventCity in Trafford as they look to fine tune their game ahead of next month’s World Championship in Sheffield, the first time an event has been brought to the city since 2011.

But 37-year-old Nottingham lad Holt has been to the city in that time, to watch the iconic rockers’ comeback gig at Heaton Park in 2012.

“To see them back together and playing was great,” he reminisced when MM caught up with him before the tournament’s start on Tuesday.

“I’ve got a lot of great memories attached to their music so it was brilliant.

“There are a lot of rumours about a new album and there has been for a while.

“They’re quite secretive which creates that mystique around the band which adds to their appeal. If you read everything on the internet you wouldn’t know what’s going to happen.

“I don’t know whether I do want them to release new music in some ways and I might be torn to listen to it.

“I wouldn’t want to have their legacy ruined if it’s not that good but Ian Brown is a legend and they’re all brilliant so I’m sure it would be great.”

Holt is keen to see more tournaments brought up this neck of the woods, for reasons other than music.

EventCity was the host last time the North West was treated to live snooker, although Holt failed to qualify for Power Snooker in 2011.

“To play in a major city like Manchester is good because it’s a great place to be,” he said.

“As a player the more tournaments there are the better it is for me. If there’s a new city to play in then even better because I like to venture out and find out more about wherever I am.

“I’ll do my best to get around the city but my attention also has to be focused on winning matches.

“We used to play the World Grand Prix at the Guild Hall in Preston but that tournament is no longer hosted there so to keep this event in Manchester and keep all the snooker fans around the North West happy would be great so we’ll see what happens.”

Holt goes into the tournament off the back of that victory over five-time World Champion O’Sullivan in Grand Prix first round in Llandudno a fortnight ago.

Holt subsequently lost his second round tie to Liang Wenbo and although he is pleased with how he has played this season, he insists more needs to be done to ensure he progresses to the latter stages of tournaments.

“I’ve had a pretty solid season,” said Holt.

“I had a good result last week beating Ronnie but if you’re going to lose in the next match it doesn’t matter.

“I’ve qualified for all the events so I can’t complain in that respect but obviously I want to be getting further and deeper into the major events and that’s something I’m working harder to do.

“But overall I’m pleased with how I’m playing and how I feel ahead of this week.

“It’s another big event with a lot of prize money. If I can have a good run next week it’ll only stand me in good stead for future events.”

The 37-year-old is set to face world number eight and good friend Barry Hawkins in the first round of the tournament on Wednesday and admits he has ambivalent feelings over facing the 2013 World Championship finalist.

“I am and I’m not looking forward to it,” Holt admitted.

“He’s one of my best pals but there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s the best of seven and we’ve both got to play each other to try and win.

“I’m sure whoever wins will get the other one a pint after!”

Image courtesy of ITV4, via YouTube, with thanks