Commercial vehicle group Sherwood Truck and Van helped customer Keith Holgate realise a sporting dream when he played his snooker hero Jimmy “The Whirlwind” White in a nail-biting charity game.
Keith, of Holgate Transport, Arnold, Nottinghamshire, played Jimmy at a special night to raise money for a Sheffield-based snooker charity.
He was chosen by Sherwood Truck and Van’s aftersales manager, John Howley, and salesman, Garry Nelson, to take part in the event – and was delighted to come out on top.
Following a strong start by Keith, a three-times Nottinghamshire amateur snooker champion, Jimmy fought back and the frame was decided when Keith stuck the final black away in some style.
Keith, who also successfully bid during a charity auction for two prints of Jimmy, said: “I couldn’t believe it. It was amazing to play against him but to win was just a dream come true.
“I’d like to thank Sherwood Truck and Van for giving me the chance to play against such a legend.”
It’s not the first time Keith has competed against one of his sporting heroes. A few years ago he played Ronnie O’Sullivan after buying a snooker table from the star on E-Bay.
“I had to fetch it from his home and got to play three frames with him. He had just won his second world championship so was a little too good for me. It was a great experience, particularly because both Ronnie and Jimmy White are idols of mine – I’ve been following Jimmy since 1979,” said Keith.
The game against Jimmy was part of a fund-raising night at Crystal nightclub in Sheffield to help the Stephen Harrison Academy – a not-for-profit social enterprise teaching snooker to disadvantaged people, including children with learning difficulties.
One of Pele’s football boots and a Robbie Williams song sheet were sold during the auction and the event was also attended by world amateur snooker champion Alfie Burden, Sheffield Wednesday footballers Tommy Miller and Nicky Weaver, and local boxers Ross “The Boss” Burkinshaw and Ryan Rhodes.
Run by professional snooker player Stephen Harrison, the academy is based at the Innovation Centre, Sheffield, and works in conjunction with groups such as the police and local authorities.
Sherwood Truck and Van, based at Blackwell, near Alfreton, Derbyshire, and with operations in Lenton, Nottingham, Highfield Lane, Sheffield, and Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, already supports the academy by providing free maintenance, servicing and storage for a converted bus, which contains a snooker table and other games equipment.
The Leyland Lynx single decker was converted last year and now tours areas of Sheffield and south Yorkshire, with plans to venture further afield.