STUART CARRINGTON will meet his nemesis from his junior days when he makes his Crucible debut on Wednesday night.
The 24 year-old from Grimsby faces Judd Trump, one of the banes of their younger days from numerous clashes on the then thriving English junior circuit.
Carrington beat 2002 world champion Peter Ebdon during the qualifiers as he became the 196th player to compete on the famous Crucible stage. However, Trump has played to a consistently high standard all season and comes into the tournament full of confidence.
“I started playing when I was eight and I came through the junior ranks with Judd. I was always getting to finals but never winning anything,” Carrington said.
“I lost five or six English finals to Judd. Judd was exceptional for his age. When he was 12 or 13 he was beating 17 and 18 year-olds. He was always going to get there quicker than everybody else.
“The rest had to work a lot harder than he had to. My progress has been gradual but I’m now getting some results.”
Carrington follows fellow Grimsby cuemen Ray Edmonds, Mike Hallett, Dean Reynolds and Sean Storey in playing in snooker’s most hallowed arena.
“I used to go to watch every year,” he said. “I saw Sean Storey play there and so it’s a dream come true to be there myself.
“There have been a number of players from Grimsby who have played there and this is a massive breakthrough for me.”
And Carrington knows life could have been different. He briefly studied as a plumber but realised he would rather be flushed with success on the green baize.
“When I left school I went to college but it’s hard playing professional snooker to juggle a job as well,” he said.
“I studied plumbing. I had no idea about it and wasn’t interested in it one little bit. My tutor told me to go and do what I’m good at and concentrate on my snooker. Luckily for me, my parents backed me for three or four years so I had a good five years to see if I could do any good at the game. It feels like it’s starting to pay off.”
Photographs by Monique Limbos