World Snooker Championship 2018: Kyren Wilson puts 'bad-boy image' behind him
|2018 World Championship|
|Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 21 April – 7 May|
|Coverage: Watch live across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.|
Temper tantrums and smashing cues seem a long way off for the now ice-cool Kyren Wilson.
But with a first Crucible semi-final appearance ticked off the snooker dream list, he has come clean about his fiery past and made a confession to his dad.
“I was absolutely terrible,” the world number nine told BBC Sport.
“I have never told my dad this, but I actually had a cue once that he bought me, and me and my friend were in my snooker room that my dad had built for me and I lost my temper, threw my cue down on the table and snapped the top off. I told my dad that I accidentally fell on it.
“So, he’ll be happy when he sees that.”
A run to the last four of snooker’s showpiece event on his third successive quarter-final appearance and a guaranteed £85,000 means dad Rob will no doubt be in a forgiving mood.
It’s a very good time for the Kettering man to bury bad news.
Wilson, 26, was the kid that was always guaranteed to lose the plot.
“If we were playing in an amateur event I would bang my cue and the kid at the other end of the room wouldn’t have to see my face,” he said.
“He would just know it was me. I used to get the mickey taken out of me a little bit.”
The past couple of years have seen Wilson attracting attention for all the right reasons. No more banging tables.
“I have learned to control my emotions,” he added. “But I feel like you need that fire in your belly to go on to do great things in the game.”
Wilson is one of the rare breed of young English players who have broken into the sport’s elite. His target for the season was to make the world’s top 10 and that’s been achieved.
He also reached the final of his first ‘Triple Crown’ event this season, losing 10-7 to Mark Allen in a thrilling Masters final.
But as recently as 2011, Wilson dropped off the tour and spent time working as a “rubbish” barman at Barratt’s, the club where he still practises in Northampton.
The now father-of-two was quickly back rising through the rankings.
“Sometimes I really do have to pinch myself,” Wilson said. “I feel like it did me the world of good. I was taking snooker for granted before I did that.
“Stepping into the real world and getting a real job made me appreciate the game again.”
Wilson’s breakthrough year in 2015 saw him win the Shanghai Masters – his first ranking event success.
Three further ranking event finals have followed: the Indian Open last season, and the World Open and English Open in this campaign – as well as the run to the Masters final in January.
The teenage strops seem a very long time ago, having realised his season goal and reaching the last four at the Crucible, with its one-table set-up.
“For me it is all about channelling the positive thoughts and banishing the negative thoughts,” he explained.
“When negative thoughts come you have certain ways of triggering them away. I have my own techniques to put me on the right path again.”
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