Dec 2 / Snooker System

Robert lines up alongside disability snooker stars

When Robert Marriott fell 100 feet from a church roof in Bradford back in 1982, he was lucky to ever walk again let alone think of chasing his dreams on the snooker table.

Fast forward four decades and he’s representing Great Britain at the World Abilitysport Games in Thailand – it’s been quite a turn around.

“I was very ill for a couple of years and snooker didn’t cross my mind,” he told Snooker System ahead of flying out to the event.

Robert was in his early 20s when this accident completely disabled his left arm after ripping numerous nerves from his spine at a time in his life when he was playing snooker semi-professionally and making century breaks for fun.

“I thought that was it,” he said. “My surgeon said I may never be able to lift my arm over the table again.”

Now into his 60s and Robert is happily playing on the WDBS tour and enjoying every moment of it. He lifts his arm onto the table using his cue and has re-developed his game to a level where he can make 50 breaks again.

Robert will take his place in the Games – run by the World Abilitysport Committee – which is not just a snooker event and actually involves 11 different sports contested by more than 1,000 athletes from across the world.

Starting on Tuesday after an opening ceremony on Sunday, Robert will be competing in one of five snooker groups bidding to win gold, silver or bronze.

“I can’t wait. I feel a bit like Eddie the Eagle because I’m the lowest ranked player in my group. I’m ranked number 8 and have players ranked one, two, three and four alongside me so I’m just going to enjoy myself and if I can get through to a medal position then great.”

The ground-breaking event is highly anticipated and comes in advance of hopes for snooker to take its place back in future editions of the Paralympic Games.


In the build-up to this prestigious event, Robert has recruited the help of Snooker System’s very own head coach Andrew Green.

“What he has done with me in a very short space of time is incredible,” he explained. “He has changed a few little things in my game but it’s made a massive difference.

“It’s been about addressing the ball. I am a very quick player but he’s got me to slow down a little and get back to some of the basics.

“I wasn’t sure whether the coaching was going to be useful. I said ‘best of luck’ because I’ve been playing a certain way for 50 years but it’s been very good.”

The Snooker System team would love to wish Robert all the best in the event.

Click here for more details on the event
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