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Snooker ace Mark Selby donating £100 for each century break


Snooker ace Mark Selby is hoping to rack up the century breaks at the World Snooker Championships, not just in his bid for glory but to help the youth club that nurtured his talent.

Selby learnt his trade on the pool and snooker tables of New Parks Club for Young People, in New Parks Boulevard, Leicester.

The world number one remains a frequent visitor, as the club's patron.

Now, ahead of his latest tilt at the world crown at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, he has pledged to donate £100 to the youth club's coffers for every century break he makes in the championship.

"It's had a huge influence on my life and played a very big part in where I am today," the 29-year-old said of his childhood haunt.

"I feel it's the least I can do – to give something back to the club and New Parks.

"It's the place where my snooker career more or less started."

Mark was back at the club this week for a party celebrating its 60th anniversary, where teenagers Ollie Parker and Rhys Bifullco were among those who traded pots with their hero.

Ollie, 13, of Hackett Road, New Parks, said: "It's great that Mark used to come here to play pool.

"He has proved that success is there if you put your mind to it.

"I enjoy playing pool and I hope to get a ticket for the Crucible to cheer Mark on."

Rhys, 13, of Birds Nest Avenue, New Parks, is also is a member of Mark's snooker academy at The Winchester club, Wigston.

"Mark is a magnificent person who has time for others," he said.

"He is a wonderful patron of our youth club and supports us in so many ways.

"He's a joy to watch play and a great role model – I hope he carries on supporting the club throughout his career."

New Parks Club for Young People could be in for a tidy windfall if Mark runs into a bit of form.

He set the record for the most century breaks compiled in a single world championship match – six – in 2001, which was also the record for a best-of-25 match.

Mark also holds the record for the most centuries in a season, making 54 in 2010-11.

At the 2007 world championship, when he lost in the final to John Higgins, he had made 13 century breaks – more than any other player in the tournament.

New Parks youth worker Luke Smith-Brookes, 23, said: "It's fantastic what Mark's doing.

"He is an old boy and a great role model who has not forgotten his roots.

"He shows the lads and girls at the club that success can happen if you are determined and stick with it."

Club vice-chairman Neville Turner, 78, a stalwart for the past 45 years, said: "If he makes only five or six centuries, it's still fantastic.

"We have to raise all the money ourselves from subs and donations.

"Mark's a great lad. When Kaz Gray and Bob Holford – who used to drive and coach him when he was nine in local tournaments – turned up, a smile lit up Mark's face.

"All eyes will be on our TV screens for the next few weeks."

Mark's opening match is against Romford's Matt Selt on Tuesday.

Snooker ace Mark Selby donating £100 for each century break

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