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Watch: Mark Allen's stepson Robbie McGuigan becomes UK's youngest player to chalk up 147 break

Robbie McGuigan has been following in the footsteps of his famous stepfather Mark
Robbie McGuigan has been following in the footsteps of his famous stepfather Mark
Mark Allen with his wife Kyla, stepson Robbie and daughter Harleigh after winning the Masters in January
Robbie has been following in the footsteps of his famous stepfather Mark

By Stewart Robson

Meet the UK's youngest ever person to hit a 147 in snooker - and he hails from Northern Ireland.

Robbie McGuigan (13), the stepson of this year's Masters champion Mark Allen, scored the maximum break at the aptly-named 147 Snooker Club in Antrim in a record time of just five minutes and four seconds - 16 seconds faster than Ronnie 'The Rocket' O'Sullivan's best effort.

Now three years into his fledgling career, the Antrim Grammar School pupil says that he is focused on emulating his mentor's success.

"I really got into playing snooker myself," he said, before giving a quick nod and a smile over to his beaming stepdad and adding: "I did watch him as well, like."

Watch Robbie's 147 right here - stick with the grainy footage to see his heart-warming reaction once the final black is potted:

Hop skip & jump watch robbies reaction hitting 147 watch till end ...

Posted by Antrim Snooker on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Robbie, son of Mark's wife Kyla McGuigan, has already competed in major competitions in the UK and Europe including a win at an under-21 championship and claiming his first under-16 title when he was just nine.

He's won six thereafter, as well as playing in a European championship in Bulgaria.

"When I'm not at school I'm down at the snooker club for about nine or 10 hours a day," he said.

And now, to add to his list of honours, the big Manchester United fan has claimed one of the game's toughest targets - which was captured by the club's CCTV cameras.

The maximum break in snooker is achieved by potting all 15 red balls and 15 blacks for 120 points. The further 27 points are won by sinking the six colours in sequence. The humble teenager took it all in his stride.

"I was on about an 80 break and the reds were sitting nicely," he explained. "You never really think about it happening at this age, you just get on with it. Then once I got it, I just let it all out.

"I had a 135 (break) just two frames before it and I was happy enough just to have that, never mind a 147."

Not many players starting off in their career can say their mentor is a Masters winner. When asked what he thought about having the first Northern Ireland champion since Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins and Dennis Taylor in the 1980s as his guide, Robbie joked: "He's all right."

He added: "He does help me out a lot. I've a lot of people that take me to snooker tournaments and it's great to have professionals to talk to.

"I'd love to be professionally playing at the World Championships but I've a long way to go. If I keep practising the way I am, though, I think I've got every chance of doing it."

If he follows in the footsteps of his stepdad, then he's bound for success.

Allen turned professional in 2005 and 'The Pistol' has proved a force to be reckoned with.

"I remember the first time Robbie held a cue in the kitchen he held it the wrong way round," Mark laughed, as Robbie smiled and shrugged it off. "But soon after he took to it like a duck to water.

"I'm always saying to him you don't have to play snooker just because I do, but he genuinely wants to play. As soon as he gets home from school he gets his homework done just so that he can get more snooker practice and when he's not in school he just lives in the club."

Allen added that although he started slightly later than Robbie in the sport, he saw glimmers of his teenage years in the youngster's play.

"I do see bits of my younger self in Robbie but he's way further ahead than I was at his age," he said.

The Pistol didn't hit his first 147 until he was 15.

"He likes to go for his shots and he's very quick round the table," Allen added. "He doesn't like to listen to too many people, like when I was younger, even to this day."

Allen travels to Sheffield this week for the World Championship. Despite continuing to impress on the world stage, he's still an Antrim boy at heart and says that the 147 Snooker Club in the town is the perfect place for Robbie to grow as a player.

"Everyone within the club follows Robbie, we're such a close-knit club. They like to get behind their own people," he said.

"Yet everyone was still surprised at him hitting the 147."

Robbie chipped in: "So was I!"

As for continued success, the professional has one very simple formula.

"Practice. There's no recipe for success other than hard work. You can have all the talent in the world but if you're not willing to work at it then you'll never get anywhere, but Robbie knows that," he said.

Legends adorn the walls of the Antrim snooker club and if things continue as they are, there will be another in no time at all.

Belfast Telegraph


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