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READING SNOOKER PROFESSIONAL SPONSORED BY BRACKENWOOD
Brackenwood is proudly sponsoring Billy Joe Castle, the professional snooker player from Reading.
Brackenwood is one of the longest established family owned and operated businesses in Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey, providing the highest quality home improvement products across five decades. The entire team is driven by a desire to provide quality products and services in an ethical, transparent and friendly manner, with over 38,000 satisfied customers to date.As an avid supporter of local talent and sporting professionals, Brackenwood are delighted to be supporting Billy in his snooker career.
Who is Billy Castle?
Married with three children, Billy is an inspiration to his family, and his son, Billy James, is now learning how to pick up a cue, just like his dad!Being born in Southampton and now living in Reading, Billy Castle first picked up a cue after visiting snooker clubs with his dad as a child. He continued to pursue his passion by setting up a junior snooker club in his home town of Southampton, before becoming the first professional to have graduated from the renowned junior section at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club, leaving as the three-time Eastleigh & District Under-18 champion. Aged 29, Billy Joe Castle has been playing the sport for over 20 years. He became a professional snooker player in 2017 after winning the six matches in the Q-School Tournament, leaving his job as a landscape gardener behind to fulfill his dream; earning a two-year card on the World Snooker Tour.
Ever since Billy Castle went professional in his snooker career, there has never been a shortage of highlights:
English Amateur Championship
Back in 2017, Billy won the English Amateur Championship by defeating three-time winner David Lilley 10–8 at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester. Two years prior, Billy was a runner-up in the event and came back with a bang, becoming the first player from Southampton to ever win the English Amateur Championship and qualifying to turn pro. The English Amateur Championship has been held every year since its inaugural staging in 1916, with a reputation as one of the most prestigious domestic honors for amateur players in England. Five winners of the tournament have gone on to become world champions, including world professional champions John Pulman, Ray Reardon, John Spencer, Terry Griffiths and Stuart Bingham. With a wealth of history, this championship has stood the test of time and is the longest running competition in snooker.
During the Scottish Open, Billy beat snooker legend Stephen Maguire during a game in round one of the match - taking place in Stephen’s hometown, Glasgow. This ranking professional snooker tournament began in 1981 as the International Open, and in 1985, became the second ranking event after the World Championship. This tournament has been home to many iconic moments in snooker history, including a maximum break from Stephen Maguire himself at the first qualifying round against Phaitoon Phonbun back at the 2000 event.
Snooker Shoot Out
One of the biggest career highlights for Billy was in 2020 when he secured a win against Ronnie O’Sullivan, beating him at the Snooker Shoot Out at the Colosseum in Watford. Known for his fast and attacking style of play, his prestigious opponent was the favourite to win that year's Snooker Shoot Out. However, world number 111 Billy Joe Castle shocked the nation, eliminating the 46-year-old, making 43 to secure the win. Billy Castle achieved the best moment of his career by defeating the current five-time world champion by one frame, reaching the last 32 players in the tournament. At the time Billy told WST, ‘Yeah . There’s nothing like playing Ronnie in London in a venue like this,’ ‘I’ve got 2,000 people against me, I couldn’t settle down early on, I just wanted to pot a couple of balls and get into it.‘But once I got into it I played really well and I’m so happy with the win.‘I enjoy playing when it’s like that, I played Jimmy White two years ago here on a Saturday night and really I enjoyed it.‘To come in as a massive underdog and do that to the best player to ever pick up a cue, it’s amazing.‘This is one of them I can look back on in years to come with the kids and grandkids and tell them I beat Ronnie O’Sullivan on TV.’As one of the fastest and perhaps one of the most exhilarating events in the snooker world, the Snooker Shoot Out is a professional ranking snooker tournament played under a variation of the standard rules and was established in 1990. Billy’s opponent, Ronnie O’Sullivan, is widely recognised as one of the most talented and accomplished players in the history of the sport with a record 29 consecutive World Championship appearances. “The Rocket” also holds the record for the most ranking titles in professional snooker, in addition to five-world titles as of March 2022.
The Brackenwood Sponsorship
As a business, Brackenwood are always looking to celebrate the local community and professionals. Back in 2017, Brackenwood were proud sponsors of the Family Business of the Year award. Being family-run themselves, the company wanted to celebrate the local community and businesses. They loved getting involved with like-minded professionals in Aldershot, Andover, Farnborough, Fleet, Hook, Northcamp, Romsey, Stockbridge, and Yately - awarding L. Hunt & Sons for their 5 generations of service to the haulage industry.Brackenwood also has a reputation for supporting local sporting communities, such as The Basingstoke Half Marathon, and most recently the Basingstoke 10K Fun Run. These events both contribute a lot to Basingstoke's excellent reputation as a town, putting them on the map as a community, so it was a pleasure for our team to get involved and support the hard-working runners. The Brackenwood managing director, Allan Forbes, met Billy Castle in a local snooker club. As an avid fan of the sport, Allan was certainly impressed with Billy’s track record - especially the groundbreaking win against Ronnie O’Sullivan only a few years prior. As the company has a reputation for supporting sporting professionals and talent, Brackenwood is now proudly sponsoring Billy Joe Castle, to support him throughout his ongoing professional snooker career. Allan Forbes, Managing Director at Brackenwood, said, "It is an honor to work with Billy Joe Castle, one of the most exceptional snooker players of his generation. At Brackenwood, getting people engaged with great local talent is exactly what we want, as it is at the very core of everything we are about as a company. Our financial backing will help to ensure Billy accelerates even further in the sport, with our entire team as his committed supporters.”