JASON WESTON is back at the top table of world snooker.
The Portsmouth cueist has regained his place on the World Tour.
He’s now on a mission to improve on his highest-ever ranking position of 73.
It’s a remarkable change of fortune for the player, who had to give up the game in 2003.
He suffers with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME) and his snooker career looked to be at an end.
But after learning to manage the illness, Weston set his heart on another crack at the sport he loves.
Barry Hearn calls it a golden ticket and I have got one at 44Jason Weston
His hard graft and determination, along with the support his family, has now paid off.
The 44-year-old stormed through Q School in Burton on Sunday with six wins from six matches.
A total of 166 players were gunning for just eight places in the world’s top 128 and Weston’s display was enough to book his place for the next two years.
He said: ‘We had two tournaments and you had to get down to the last four to qualify. In the first tournament I lost my second match.
‘But in the second tournament on Sunday I won six matches on the bounce. It left me shellshocked.
‘It was blood, sweat and tears for everybody.
‘All the youngsters there were playing for their life for the next two years.
‘It’s been 10 to 12 years since I picked up my cue. When I was about 30 years old I had to pull out of snooker with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME).
‘Now I’m feeling a lot, lot better. You learn to manage it.
‘My two boys are now aged 19 and 15, and they said they would love to see me play, which is why I decided to give it another go.’
Weston’s top performance in Burton means he will have three qualifying matches for the World Championship at the Crucible next year.
He will also be in the 128-player flat draw for the UK Championship, the format introduced by snooker boss Barry Hearn.
As a result, he could be handed a tie against the likes of newly-crowned world champion Stuart Bingham, or any of the other big names, including Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby.
It’s exciting times for Weston as he starts his bid to qualify for the Australian Open at the K2 Arena in Crawley on Monday.
He said: ‘Barry Hearn calls it a golden ticket and I have got one at 44.
‘I’m in the World Championship and all the major tournaments now.
‘It will be a case of trying to win three matches to get to the Crucible.
‘I am excited now. I’m not going back in as a journeyman. I want to win. I am in it for pride. I want to make my family proud.
‘In the 1990s I was on the professional circuit for eight to 10 years and the highest I got to was number 73 in the world.
‘My first target is to see if I can improve on that.’
Weston has had great support from Miki Sinanan, who owns Fareham Snooker Club where he trains on the match table.
He is now looking for sponsorship to help out with the cost of getting to all the tournaments as he eyes glory on the world stage.
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