Jimmy White: Second Wind

To play snooker at the highest level you would think you’d need an icy, ultra sober, ‘frame’ of mind. To execute shots with millimetre precision for hour after hour – well don’t you need to be someone like Steve Davis? Apparently not, because the sport has offered us wild and flamboyant characters. One was Alex Higgins. Another is certainly Jimmy ‘the whirlwind’ White (http://www.jimmywhirlwindwhite.com/). In this autobiography White takes us through a kaleidoscopic tour of his wildness and wilful self-destruction. The facts are eye-watering. He trashed his way through £200,000 of cocaine and lost £2 million in gambling. Whole years were lost in a hazy oblivion on booze and drugs. There is a good dash of humour here too. On one memorable occasion, the night before White’s brother’s funeral, he broke into the funeral home, carried his brother’s corpse out to a car and drove him 10 miles to another brother’s house, where they drank and played cards beside the body before returning him to the funeral parlour in a taxi in the early hours. “He was stiff, so we must have bent him to get him into the taxi. I can’t really remember how, we was all well oiled.” As he sees things now – “Everything for me was to beat the system, the way I played was to beat the system. People were always trying to help me, managers were trying to keep me in my room, but I’d be out the window. I was terrible. I just thought I was that good it didn’t matter if I didn’t win this time. I’d win next year. I was an arsehole, a total arsehole. Because I could do things on the snooker table that no other player could do, I just had this sort of self-destruct button in me. It was the fight for the ultimate buzz all the time. That’s why I got addicted to cocaine and gambling, because I was always trying to push it, to win the hard way. But in the end, it kind of fucked me, because it was too hard for me to do it. I was a mug. I was just a fucking mug.”

Fucking mug or not White has provided us all with massive entertainment throughout his career. There has to be some explanation why he is so popular. Maybe, if we’d had the courage to kick against the traces we could have been something like Jimmy White. You’ll enjoy this book.


352 pages in Trinity Mirror Sport Media

First published 7 November 2014

ISBN 978-1908695901


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Jimmy White

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