Amateur snooker player eyes World Tour slot after ‘dream’ call up to replace Ronnie O’Sullivan

The son of a Barry snooker legend was invited to replace snooker’s biggest star just two days before the Welsh Open began

ALFIE DAVIES decided he was “going to give snooker a proper go” a year ago.

Since then, he’s competed in six professional tournaments and has the opportunity in March to earn a place on the World Snooker Tour.

But the biggest moment of his career arrived on Saturday, February 10, when he got the call to say he would be competing in the Welsh Open two days later in place of the legendary Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Just a couple of years earlier, the 23-year-old amateur had been at the Motorpoint Arena as a spectator, watching one of his previous opponents playing in the same event.

“It was a dream come true,” said Alfie, the son of former professional and Barry snooker legend Anthony Davies.

“A few years ago at the Motorpoint, me and some of the lads from the Barry West End Snooker Club went to watch the Welsh Open and Joe O’Connor, who I had played against as a junior, was playing and I remember thinking ‘Wow, look at him.’ Just a year before that we were playing in the same tournaments.

“Now that I’m there too, it’s just a dream come true. It’s surreal if I’m honest.”

Alfie played his first match of the Welsh Open in Llandudno on its opening day, beating Scotsman Liam Graham 4-1 after beginning the first frame with a century break.

Alfie Davies lost to Dominic Dale 4-3 in the second round of the Welsh Open

In the next round, Alfie drew his dad’s old practice partner, the experienced Dominic Dale, where he eventually narrowly lost 4-3. Since Alfie has returned to Barry, he has been overwhelmed by all the messages of support he has received.

“I was disappointed to lose in the end but I was happy with my performance,” he said.

“To make a century break in both matches was pleasing and I felt good out there.

“It’s been a bit mad since I’ve come back, to be honest. I’ve had so many messages. When I walked back into the (Barry West End) club on Sunday everyone was going nuts. It’s a weird feeling.”

Alfie still works part-time at the West End club when he’s not away playing snooker.

“This time last year I was just working part-time at the club, not really knowing what to do next,” he said.

“Now, being around all these big names is surreal. In the players lounge I’m sat with Shaun Murphy, Mark Williams and Judd Trump. Shaun told me he was impressed by my performance in the Welsh Open.”

Alfie’s dad, Anthony Davies, was a professional for 10 years between 1995 and 2005. When Alfie was a one-year-old, his father beat Stephen Hendry 5-1 in the 2001 British Open.

Anthony Davies played on the World Snooker Tour for a decade

Alfie now has aspirations of following in his father’s footsteps and achieving a place on the World Snooker Tour, having made his first appearance in a professional event in June at the Championship League Snooker. However, Alfie says his father never pushed him to become a Snooker player.

“He’s given me advice, especially now in the last year or so, but I’ve been so competitive that I put pressure on myself more than anything,” Alfie said.

Alfie has managed to qualify for six professional events this year by achieving a good ranking on the Q School of Snooker, a tournament that gives amateur players an opportunity to earn a place on the World Snooker Tour.

Alfie hopes to earn a spot on the World Snooker Tour this year

In March, Alfie will compete in the Q Tour play-offs along with 24 other amateurs from across the globe. The winner of the play-offs earns a two-year tour card to compete on the professional tour alongside the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Alfie believes he has the quality to compete professionally.

“In the next year or two I want to get on that tour. I have confidence that this time next year I could be a pro, I’ve got to believe in myself,” he said.

As the commentator of the Welsh Open said last week on BBC One: “Alfie Davies, remember the name.”