The Wonderful Whirlwind of London Town – Jimmy White

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DENNY DAVIS

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  • The Wonderful Whirlwind of London Town – Jimmy White

The Wonderful Whirlwind of London Town – Jimmy White

James Warren “Jimmy” White, who is also known as the Whirlwind and the People’s Champion, was born on 2 May 1962 in Tooting, England. He is the only player who has reached six world snooker championship finals but unfortunately has lost all of them. However, Jimmy has been a UK champion, World Amateur Champion, Worlds Doubles Champion with Alex Higgins and has also been a World’s Cup winner at three occasions with England. He is also the first left-handed ever and second of all-time, after Steve Davis, to make a 147 in 1992.

White has over 250 centuries in his professional career and is among the top 8 players in this league. Besides losing all six world championship finals, he is consistent until 2000.

Jimmy started playing snooker from an early age. He was always found to be missing in his school and playing snooker. He played many money matches with Tony Meo at different venues. He became the youngest player to win an English Amateur Championship at the age of 18 in 1979.

He was diagnosed with a testicular cancer in a routine check up in 1995 but got himself operated immediately and recovered. Soon after the recovery he got married to Maureen White and had four children. However, when he got diagnosed with the cancer his game went way.

He has also been a part of the controversy in a match against Peter Francisco in South Africa. Reports leaked that a huge amount of money was involved in the match and was placed on Jimmy to keep the winning by an eventual score line. However investigation report came and Francisco was found guilty and there was a five-year ban put on him. On the other hand Jimmy was not found with any wrong-doing as there was no evidence found against him and was cleared of all charges completely.

White is a player who has always been found with his own unique style, conceding the match on missing a simple blue, throwing away the cue on a bad miss, etc. However, he is still liked by the people because of his aggressive play.

One of the most memorable matches he has ever played was with Tony Drago in 1992 at the Crucible Theater where he produced the second televised 147 ever. He did say before the tournament that he is playing on the top of his game. He was leading his opponent by 8-4 before Drago attempted a long pot and left Jimmy with an easy red to place the black ball.

Jimmy made it all look so easy all the way, although there were a few impossible shots that he played, and produced a mind-boggling 147 break. Tony Drago came up and hugged Jimmy White on his great accomplishment and the Crucible’s crowd at that time was note worthy.

Jimmy’s game with the passage of time has declined but still whenever he appears anywhere in a tournament the commentary is always worth listening. Snooker’s favourite son, White, is still alive in the game and is playing for his fans, who would never want him to retire.