NEAL Foulds was the junior partner in the last ‘father-and-son’ duo to feature on the professional snooker tour before this season, when Peter and Oliver Lines will give it a go.
Foulds, now 50, went on to eclipse Geoff’s feats on the table, becoming a ranking-event winner by lifting the International Open trophy, and claiming other success by winning the Scottish Masters, Dubai Masters and Pot Black.
Now a highly-respected commentator with the BBC, ITV, Eurosport and Sky had some interesting observations about the experience overall, and pros and cons of going to work on the baize with your dad in tow.
Former world No3 Foulds said: “I found playing on adjacent tables as you sometimes did very tricky, it was hard to concentrate. Because we were both so interested in how the other was getting on playing on adjacent tables was not easy.
“I remember at the UK Championships at the Guildhall in Preston my dad had qualified – and he didn’t always - and was playing Steve Davis on the next table.
“I was playing David Taylor, who was a good player and I was just a rookie. And I kept wanting to watch my dad, as I always had – but I had a match on myself!
“The two matches we did play against each other were horrible experiences, really tough, and I don’t envy Peter and Oliver if that happens. I was competitive and always wanted to win, but I had never wanted my dad to miss a ball in my life.
“And here I was hoping he would miss so I could get to the table. It was very tough.
“We played in the International in Stoke, at Trentham Gardens, and I won 5-0. It wasn’t that he didn’t try, he just couldn’t play against me and I wasn’t much better but held it together.
“Then in the English professional championship it was slightly more relaxed and I won 9-4, my mum came to that one and she wasn’t a good watcher.
“The one thing you have that is unique is that you have someone who is 100 per cent behind you, as you would expect anyone’s dad to be – AND they know snooker.
“So they won’t say the wrong things as some dads might, they’ll hopefully say the right things that you need to hear as a rookie professional.
“I always supported my dad, and went to watch him play in his big matches, so I had a decent idea of how good you had to be.
“And I was rubbing shoulders with people like John Virgo, Dennis Taylor and Willie Thorne from a young age, and it helps having come from that environment, the whole thing is less intimidating.”