From The Sunday Times
February 13, 2005
What would you have done if you had not been a snooker player?
Sometimes I wonder if I should have chosen a more physical sport such as tennis, squash or football. I seemed to be good at all sports I played at school. One of my mates refused to play me at tennis because every time he hit the ball to me, I would whack it straight back into the corners
Do you have any sporting regrets?
There have been periods in my life when I have not been as mentally stable as perhaps I am now. Without those problems, I wonder where I would be now — would I have won more world titles?
What hobbies or interests do you have?
In the past I tried meditation and looked into various religions such as Islam and Buddhism because I was searching for something in my life. The teaching of Buddhism helps me get through life, but I live how I want to. Now I prefer living a boring life compared to previously being ‘one of the lads’. Instead of going out drinking, I would rather go running
Away from snooker, what ambitions do you have?
To run the London Marathon — hopefully under three hours — and to win the BBC Superstars programme. When I retire from snooker, I doubt I will ever play it again, even recreationally
What is your favourite book and film?
A biography of Howard Hughes and Troy, starring Brad Pitt
What music do you enjoy?
Anything from R‘n’B to Phil Collins. I was once mistaken for Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher in Germany. An elderly man asked me for an autograph, thinking I was the singer, so, rather than disappoint him, I signed his book, ‘Liam’
Do you have a favourite piece of sporting memorabilia?
A few years ago, after I lost in the world championship in Sheffield, Prince Naseem Hamed gave me his world title belt. He said: ‘You are still a world champion to me!’ The belt is now at my mum’s