Maguire determined to win world snooker ‘marathon’

World number two Stephen Maguire has been speaking to the Scotsman about all sorts of things, his career so far, his personal life and his ambitions in the game. Click below to read what is a really interesting interview with the world’s second best player…

To read the article in full, please click here. Here is what Stephen himself had to say:

On his rise to prominence and the mistakes that he made following this:

“I was drinking too much and put on one-and-a-half stone in just three months,”

“In 2004, when I won the European and UK, I came into a lot of money I never had before.

“I beat Jimmy White in the European final which was very special because he has always been a hero of mine. That was when I realised I could compete with the top boys because I came from nowhere really. Then a few months later I won the UK and it totally changed my career.

“I enjoyed the experience, maybe too much because the year after I was a completely different player and not for the better.

“To put on the weight I did was excessive. I am the kind of person who can put on a few pounds easily although I can lose it easily as well which was the lucky thing and right now I am in good shape.

“I know what I did wrong then and it cost me a season and a half. I can tell you this, it’s not going to happen again no matter how much money I make.”

On becoming a dad:

“Being a dad changed me completely,”

“Look at me just now, I’m out Christmas shopping with Sharon in Glasgow and it’s only October!

“But it’s a good feeling and I owe so much to Sharon and if there is any sign of me getting carried away with myself, she’ll be the first one to give me a wee slap.

“Snooker is the only way I can make good money and I’ve got a family to feed and they are my number one priority. They are the ones who drive me on and I cannot be selfish as I used to be. It’s a good place to be in.”

On his 2007 World Championship semi-final defeat:

“Personally, I think I played good enough snooker to go all the way,”

“but unfortunately John punished every half mistake I made and that was that. I knew he would come back because there was no way he was going to lie down. But I also didn’t think I was going to lose the match after getting a 14-10 lead.”

On his determination to win the World title:

“If I was never to win the World (Championship] I would be devastated. Put it this way, I desperately want to lift the trophy before I’m 30 at the very latest.

“I’m only 27 and will be putting everything into it to win it next year. I know I am good enough, it’s all about keeping your game together for the duration of the championship which is an absolute marathon.

“Scotland has a fantastic record at the Crucible in modern times. Stephen Hendry has a record seven world titles, John Higgins has done it twice and Graeme Dott has done it once.

“I will be gutted if I am not part of that, to be honest. If I win it once I will be then gunning for two.

“But you just never know. Look at Jimmy White, the greatest player never to win the world championship. Jimmy was in six world finals and lost the lot, four of them against Stephen Hendry when Hendry was at his best. Jimmy has had a great career but that has got to be devastating and if one player deserved the title it’s him.

“But I am putting in the work, I’ve got to because if I don’t there’s always the chance of me getting gubbed.”

On his match against Jamie Cope today:

“It’s the first time I have played in Glasgow and it’s something I am looking forward to,” added Maguire. “A lot of my family and friends are going to be there and I’m looking to do well.”