WAYNE Cottterill has waited 28 years to achieve his dream of making a maximum 147 break - in little over 15 minutes he had done it.
The 34-year-old potted the 15 reds, 15 blacks and the colours at St Andrews Cricket and Bowling Club to join an elite few to have achieved the feat on the local scene.
It may have been in a practice match but for Cottterill, whose previous highest break was 145, a pipedream had finally become reality.
“I started playing snooker when I was six-years-old and like any player, the dream had always been to achieve a maximum break,” said Cotterill.
“It may have been in a knock with my mates but I don’t care, I’ve waited a long time to achieve it.”
Cottterill has just played his last game of the season for St Andrews in the Nelson and District Semi Snooker League - he made a break of just 47 as he lost to Chris Mount of Nelson Poultry.
Winding down with his mates, he playing doubles with Olly Clack against Chris Catlow and Terry Windle.
Cottterill, a prolific potter with hundreds of centuries to his name, realised something was on after sinking the first eight or nine reds - but that was only after someone had pointed out each one had been accompanied by a black.
It was then that the nerves had kicked in.
“It was pretty late and I had had a few drinks by that stage but I was still as nervous as hell,” he said.
“All the balls were well placed and I thought something might be on.”
And so did the regulars at the Burnley club on Abinger Street as 30 or so gathered to watch the break unfold. The left hander, who models his game on Jimmy White, is no stranger to big breaks – he hit 129 last season.
But this one was different and he recounts his memorable break.
“I started with a long red and finished perfect on the black to go into the pack,” he said. “After that the break was pretty straight forward and after about eight or nine reds and blacks it became clear, not only to me, but to everyone in St Andrews there was a chance for the 147.”
Only Sean Greenall in recent years has achieved the maximum, that too came in a practice match For Cotterill, the adrenaline was now beginning to kick in as the break built and the reds disappeared. He overran the 14th red and got lucky with the 15th but after thinly cutting in the final black, it was on to the colours.
“Normally, the colours would have been pretty straight forward but I was shaking like a leaf,” he said. “I have never been so nervous.
“But it was just a case of holding myself together and trusting my technique and luckily it stood up to the test and I ran the colours without mishap to achieve what I thought up to now was nothing more than a pipe dream...a 147!”
After the final black disappeared the club erupted and Cotteril disappeared under a sea of bodies – but his only concern was for his cue.
“When I potted the last black I shouted ‘Get in!’ then about four or five of the lads jumped on top of me. All I remember is shouting ‘watch my cue!’”
For Cotterill, who first started playing when his dad Jeff bought him a small chip board table when he was six, it was by far his snooker highlight.
He said: “I’ve won East Lancashire Red Knockout twice, the Nelson Semi Snooker League team title and individual title and the order of merit but this is definitely the highlight for me.
“I’ve waited a long time for this and thought it might never happen.
“When I first started playing, my dad thought I might have an eye for the game and decided to enquire about the possibility of me being coached.
“So I ended joining the Junior Snooker School at Top Break and received coaching from Glenn Stevenson, Harry Gillespie and Mick Kirkby.
“But If it wasn’t for the continued support and patience of my dad as well as all the miles in the car travelling all over the UK for junior comps I would never have achieved any of the things I have in the game.”
While it was the undoubted highlight of his career, it also made up for what had been a disappointing season in the Nelson and District Semi Snooker League.
“Last season we won nearly everything,” he said. “I also won the individual title, order of merit and highest break.
“But this season, we have been pretty poor and only finished in third place.
“But the break more than makes up for it.”