My old mate Shawn Budd

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Hi and welcome to my first official blog on Gary’s Corner.

I thought I should start with one of our most gifted snooker and pool players Shawn Budd. He has been a prolific winner of snooker and pool comps for over 30 years and has always been one of my favourite players to watch.

He first came to my attention when he was 12 and by 15 we had got special permission to take him into City Tatts. I took him in there the first day and gave him a few frames and he made a 145 break just to let everyone know that he had arrived. People where shocked that he was allowed in, but the committee had the vision to see that Shawn was special and thanks to Lenny Zappala who was on the board made the decision that he would be allowed as long as he is monitored.

Unlike other players Shawn did not chase world titles or want to turn pro. I will never understand why but respect his decisions. He went to England and told me on his return that he could not live there so basically that was it and by the time he was 16 or 17 I thought he was the best player in the country. He was a special player who did special things at the table and he had a happy go lucky attitude at the table and was always the gentlemen. If you look at the records in Australia only Steve Mifsud comes close to winning as many comps as Shawn. He has won the Australian Open and National Championship on many many occasions and I don't know how he does it as he is probably guilty of being the most  inconsistent practice players of all time and has always been that way.

I always remember the day he called me and informed me that he was in the final of the Australian title at Mounties. I had been out of the game for a couple of years and did not even know the Australian was being played. He said I will pick you up on the way come out and get in my ear and off cause I said okay. On the drive to Mounties he informed me that he had not played for months and as usual had done no preparation but really wanted to win it now he was in the final. My verbal was well mate you have got yourself this far so just go out there and entertain us that's your strength so lets just go with that don't get bogged down go your shots and stay free in your mind.

He started the match badly, and then all of a sudden the long shots started to find the mark and in the end ran out an easy winner. I was shocked that he could play so well with no practice and its a testament to his natural ability. Another day he rang me  and said Gaz i’m in the  the final at Rooty Hill, come up and watch I said Ok and myself and Digby went up to watch it. When we walked in he come over and said Gaz get me a lemonade and I will do something special for you and Dig, so I got the lemonade and he got 3 century's in half an hour to win 3 nil.

Shawn now is in his early 40’s and is a father and a husband and seems happy with life which makes me happy. Thanks for the memory's Shawn and thanks for the entertainment, love Gaz 

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