Snookered…

LOCAL snooker talent appears to be in good form right now, with two NI players beating ex-world champions in the World Championships yesterday. The best of luck to Belfast’s Joe Swail and Antrim’s Mark Allen, who sported a pair of Union flag cufflinks in his match against the Republic’s Ken Doherty.

  • patrique

    Are Mark’s cuff links relevant?

  • Yukio

    Does Ken Doherty have the Starry Plough on his?

  • Dr Strangelove

    I wonder Mark will wear his union flag cufflinks in every match he will play or only when he is playing:
    a) An Irishman
    b) A taig

  • Dead right Dr Strangelove. There’s no way he can just be proud of their country when we all know the only reason them huns pull stunts like that is to piss off Caflicks. Cropppy lie down. 2nd class citizens. It may only be a pair of cufflinks but it’s a symbol of 800 years of *mumble-mumble* – BIG0T!!

  • Yukio

    Beano, I am very interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

    Actually, you’re alright. The Shinners send me update e-mails every week.

  • toby

    How many points for the ‘orange’ ball ??

  • brown ball

    I’m sure Higgins,Stevens etc ..will be wondering why the Irishman is wearing english cuff links.

  • Munster Republic

    Why would you support such an ‘Bigot’? But you have to laugh at how pathetic this is especially to onlookers.

  • paddypower

    see he was sporting a nice orange waistcoat in one of his photos

    whatever floats his boat i guess..

    anyway he must be alright at the old snooks but Doherty has lost the hunger he had a couple of years ago me thinks

    best of luck to Allen from this taig – might have a wee wager on him in the next round

  • jaffa

    “Actually, you’re alright. The Shinners send me update e-mails every week.”

    My spam filter has decided that Sinn Fein’s updates are junk but that the IOD is dandy even though the IOD stuff is more frequent. I think Mr Gates has programmed in a capitalist bias.

  • young turk

    I heard Joe Swail was wearing a H block t-shirt under his waist coat. lol

  • O’Donoghue

    takin up where Alex Higgins left off ?

    In my estimation, Dennis Taylor is not a snooker person. He is a money person. The more he gets, the more he wants… He is not fit to wear this badge, the red hand of Ulster,” he said.

    Taylor took up the challenge with a vengeance, by dropping the bombshell that he had earlier been threatened by Higgins.

    “I come from the Shankill and you come from Coalisland,” Taylor claimed Higgins had said to him.

    “The next time you’re in Northern Ireland I’ll have you shot.”

    ; )

    who says sports and politics don’t mix

    Alex must have chilled in his old age as he trades on his celebrity in Dublin these days…

  • patrique

    What makes Munster Republic think Mark is a bigot? The Irish rugby team wear Ireland jersies, are they bigots?
    Mark is a pleasent young man and the links are obviously a fashion item. Unfortunately for him, a large section of the population, many on this site, are bigots.
    I do not know if Ken has starry plough links, he didn’t last time I met him. I also fail to see the connection between a union jack and a starry plough, in regard to accusing people of being bigots.Unless Socialists are bigots?

    Why can we not just let people play sport, without us putting labels on them?

  • Munster Republic

    Clealry he put the labels/emblems on himself

  • sammaguire

    In fairness to Alex nobody really took him seriously and it’s unfair to portray him as a bigot. He always got great support at the Irish Open.
    As for this Allen guy if the cuff links were specially worn for Ken’s benefit then he’s just an immature twit.

  • Munster Republic

    Mark is a pleasent young man and the links are obviously a fashion item.

    Posted by patrique on Apr 25, 2007 @ 11:57 PM

    Hopeflly he proves me wrong but we will soon see if these fashion items appear when playing anyone else apart from an Irish man.

  • patrique

    I have seen people wearing guinness cuff links, doesn’t make them dipso’s or English. Union Jack cuff links are popular in Antrim where Mark hails from.Incidently, I have known Mark for about six years now and do not know what religion he is, if any. Perhaps there is something wrong with me?

  • andy

    ‘Union Jack cuff links are popular in Antrim where Mark hails from.Incidently’

    I suppose they go with the buckfast & rangers/n.i top.

  • Roger

    Pathetic really pathetic slugger bloggers.

  • patrique

    I admit I have a N.Ireland top, but also Mayo, Dubs, Antrim, Galway, and QUB Gaelic tops.When the Antrim County GAA centre of excellence opens in Antrim, we can all wear our Rangers tops to it. My nephew recently burnt my Rangers top, that’s those Keltic thugs for you.

    And Roger is right, as I said at the start, are cuff links relevant. Ronnie O’Sullivan, the most naturally talented thing you ever saw is playing, but of no interest to this site as he doesn’t wear cuff links.
    And unless I missed something on the news, Mark, like the rest of us up here, is British. But as they say in the vernacular, “Is cuma liomsa”.

  • SuperSoupy

    Irish eyes smiling

    Seems not.

  • Munster Republic

    And unless I missed something on the news, Mark, like the ‘rest of us up here’, is British.

    Posted by patrique on Apr 26, 2007 @ 12:53 AM

    the birthright of all the people of Norn Iron to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments

  • patrique

    Do you want us to be government lackies now? At least you now admit that Mark has the right to wear whatever cuff links he wants.

    “the birthright of all the people of Norn Iron to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments
    Posted by Munster Republic on Apr 26, 2007 @ 01:23 AM

    And this is Antrim. Our opposition to Governments dates back to 1798, a strong Presbyterian United Irishmen rebellion, probably all wearing union jack cuff links.

    What type of cuff links do Mark Stevens or Mark Williams wear?

  • codyisadog

    It must be getting near july as I see the flag waving has started

  • patrique

    Sorry, it must be me. I have been watching snooker for years, and haven’t noticed anyones cuff links. Is that what indicates a good player. Ronnie O’Sullivan owes it all to whatever cuff links he wears.
    Thankfully I live in N.Ireland and many political parties, such as Sinn Fein are fighting for parity of esteem. Hopefully if they achieve this aim, Mark can wear “Killer Coca-cola” cuff links.

    Jaysus, but I hate bigots.

    I must ask Ken if he noticed the notorious links.

  • patrique

    I must confess I was a bit annoyed when some friends of mine seemed to be supporting Ken against a local lad, but I put it down to them being Celtic fans, so John Higgins is their favoourite player, even against Ken. Now Ken is a great bloke, really friendly to my daughter in Manchester the other year, but Mark is local, we paid money for raffles and sponsorship for him, and it is great to see him doing well. His old sparring partner Declan is really chuffed as well, and so are the two Pats and Michael. There is hope yet for this country.

  • patrique

    PS. I am a GAA man, it is traditional for Belfast GAA people to hate Celtic, nothing sectarian in it, they are just our natural enemy.But if Stephen Hendry turns up in Celtic cuff links, and someone notices, I will not hold it against him.

  • againtthehead

    I tell you who are the bigots – you bunch of idiots posting all this crap about Allen wearing a pair of cufflinks! Big deal, the guys displays a bit of his British identity – shock horror. How many catholic boxers from NI run around the ring with tricolours following fights, soccer players, rugby players with ulster flags…..

    Unless you haven’t noticed, we’re a bit divided here – each with our own national identity – so what – you wave your tricolours – I’ll wave my Union flag and we’ll all go for a pint after.

    Give the guy a break, end of the day it’s the snooker that’s important!

  • Dec

    I am a GAA man, it is traditional for Belfast GAA people to hate Celtic, nothing sectarian in it, they are just our natural enemy.

    Patrique

    Err…wtf are you talking about?

    btw If more people displayed their Britishness through cufflinks as opposed to urinating in Nationalist gardens, I for one would be a lot happier.

  • pith

    Why are snooker and darts included within the BBC Sports budget?

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Well done to Mark, It’s so good to know that he is BRITISH. I think a Union Flag waistcoat would be very fetching to match his cufflinks and so that we all know that he is BRITISH. Perhaps a red, white and blue cue as well could be part of the ensemble. Ken Doherty is Irish but Mark Allen is BRITISH. He comes from BRITAIN and represents BRITAIN because he is BRITISH. So then, we all know Mark Allen is BRITISH, and we better not forget.

  • Cromwell

    Greagoir,

    He wore a pair of cufflinks, for f*cks sake!
    What side of your bed did you fall from at this early hour to be so offended?

    Good to see all the usual suspects lining up here today.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    againtthehead you are right to display your BRITISHNESS because your are BRITISH. You feel you are different to the rest of the Irish here in Ireland. You feel BRITISH. You yearn for the Red, White and Blue (and Orange), God Save the Queen, Land of Hope and Glory, The GREAT BRITISH Empire, the Protestant faith (and down with papists), Rangers FC, the BRITISH army, Rule Britannia, 1690, ….it all means so dear to you because you are BRITISH and it’s what you dearly believe in. Just like Mark Allen, you are BRITISH too and why not be proud of the fact.
    And sure why not let everyone know too.

  • kensei

    Oh come on, do cufflinks ever SCREAM anything? Really?

    If the dude is British and wants to wear Union Jack cufflinks, what the fuck is the problem?

  • DK

    I wonder if the cufflinks were a deliberate psychological ploy to put off his opponent. Or maybe they were just his lucky cufflinks.

  • Dec

    Good to see all the usual suspects lining up here today

    Really Cromwell? Like who. You’ll notice both Kensei and myself (for example) have no issue with his choice of cufflinks. I’ve never heard of most of the rest of them. Still, if you want to go on a OWCesque MOPE, go for it.

  • DK

    Mark Allen’s partner (who recently gave birth) is English. And here is a pictre of Mark with a green bowtie.
    http://www.worldsnooker.com/players_head_to_head-8231.htm

    I can almost hear Gréagóir O’ Frainclín’s brain exploding as he tries to input this information: “British cufflinks… English partner… Green bow-tie…. BANG!”

  • Cromwell

    Dec,
    Kensei posted after me so thats not much of an achievement, but fair play to you both for buckin’ the trend etc.
    As for MOPEry, Greagoir, I just cant begin to compete!

  • Hogan from County Tyrone

    As someone who knows nationalists who play in Mark’s home snooker club i have never them say i bad word about him. They are all immensely proud of how he has progressed over the years and still regail of tales about him beating guys 3-4 times his age giving them 50+ points of a lead etc.

    Maybe it was unfortunate of his fashion choice that day? But more importantly GET A LIFE!!!

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Ha ha …ah go on will ye’s ..I knew I’d get ye’s going!

  • Frustrated Democrat

    So someone from the UK is not allowed to wear the flag of his country.

    Had it been any other UK player would it have been mentioned?

    Had Doherty had Tricolour cuff links or flag on his waistcoat would it have been mentioned?

    Stop coat trailing and wish a Northern Ireland player all the success he deserves!

  • Cromwell

    Aye dead on Greagoir,

    I was reading it in the vocal style of Rory O’Brady/Barry McElhuff too.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    I’ve just noticed I forgot to wish Joe Swail as well.

  • GavBelfast

    “SLUGGER O’TOOLE Notes on Northern Ireland Politics and Culture”

    Hmmm, the content of this thread makes that title seem a tad optimistic and pretentious. A snooker player’s cuff-links – is that what it’s been reduced to?

    SAD!!!

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    ‘If the dude is British and wants to wear Union Jack cufflinks, what the fuck is the problem?’

    Well said.

    Although the aesthete in me says Union Jack cufflinks? Oh dear.

    Nevertheless, well done to BOTH local lads. I thought Ken was gracious in defeat as well.

  • Dec

    Had Doherty had Tricolour cuff links or flag on his waistcoat would it have been mentioned?

    I probably would have mentioned that he looked like a tit.

  • idiot swatter

    The problem here isn’t Mark Allen, his nationality or his dress sense. I watched the game and the lad played well. I’ll support him along with every other sports person from this island without question.

    The problem here is that the original poster included this rather uninteresting piece of trivia for effect. Why did Belfast Gonzo feel the need to add it in?

    GavBelfast,
    “SLUGGER O’TOOLE Notes on Northern Ireland Politics and Culture”

    Hmmm, the content of this thread makes that title seem a tad optimistic and pretentious.

    I laughed my socks off at this, and would agree. Is the amount of blogging on slugger to be nothing more than sly digs and funny winks?

    Clear your name Gonzo. Please inform us as to why you found this piece of random pub trivia to be anyway important at all to be worth noting on a site which has the title ‘Notes on Northern Ireland Politics and Culture’. Is this what NI culture amounts to? Reporting on what people wear? What kind of socks was he wearing, or is that info not as important as the cuff links?

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you got the result you were looking for.

  • Ziznivy

    Good luck to Allen and Swail. An all N Irish final would be nice! I’d look out my bestest cufflinks for it.

  • willie mcrea

    Hopefully the organisers will be able to get an arch erected along with some bunting over your Mark’s seat before his second round match gets underway.

    Did anyone notice if he was sponsored by Wrightbus ?

  • idiot swatter

    Belfast Gonzo,

    So why didn’t you tell us what kind of cuff links Joe Swail was wearing? Not worth reporting if they’re not Union jacks? Pathetic.

  • BP1078

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you got the result you were looking for.

    You shouldn’t overreact, it’s been quite funny this thread.

    Anywhere else in the UK he’d have been carted off by the Fashion Police for wearing them, here it sparks off 100+ (that’s my bet) comments, some people are seriously offended by a pair of cufflinks-how funny’s that?!

    Anyway, if it hadn’t been Gonzo, then it would have been Chris Donnelly covering it, imagine the headline we would have got then:

    “UNIONIST PLAYER SHOCKS WORLD OF SNOOKER WITH PROVOCATIVE UNION FLAG SHAME!!”

  • againtthehead

    damn prods – first the football team, then the rugby team, then darren clarke, now a snooker player – lock the b******* up!

  • willie mccrea

    Idiot Swatter – The fact that Mark Allen feels he has to so publically ( for those from Northern Ireland ) identify himself with one of the the two tribal groups is a matter worth reporting.

    Was he afraid that the Great British public would mistake him for a taig/Pady ?

  • Cromwell

    Willie,

    Maybe he just likes to wear Union Jack cufflinks.

  • idiot swatter

    wille,

    Idiot Swatter – The fact that Mark Allen feels he has to so publically ( for those from Northern Ireland ) identify himself with one of the the two tribal groups is a matter worth reporting.

    Was he afraid that the Great British public would mistake him for a taig/Pady ?

    Mark Allen is a free man who can nail his allegiance to whatever flag he sees fit, and can show that allegiance in any way he sees fit, once it’s legal.
    If he’s afraid of being identified as a ‘paddy’ then he’ll have to wear more than cuff links because throughout the commentary, he was occasionally referenced ‘the Irishman’. But that’s beside the point. You are just looking for a reason to be offended. If you can show to me that Mark had explicitly stated his reasons for wearing them to back up your statement, then fire away.

    I’ve better things to be doing than to be offended by someones dress sense. I’d be more offended by someone wearing stone washed jeans, white socks and dirty black Doc Martins than a pair of cuff links.

    If Mark wore them for the purpose of having a dig at Ken, then that’s pathetic. But it’s all speculation without the man himself here to defend himself. That’s why I’d give him the benefit of the doubt sooner than any satisfaction at being offended, if his reasons were less than honourable.
    I’d sooner have an issue with Belfast Gonzo including this trivia for poo-stirring purposes.

  • patrique

    Hogan from Tyrone is right, certainly about the Fountain Snooker club, and when young Jordan makes the breakthrough, hopefully he will wear King Billy braces, on his teeth.

    To answer another question. The real GAA man hates Keltic because some teams do not turn up to play, preferring to watch a Scottish soccer team on the box, professing undying love for Ireland by doing so. These “ceasefire republicans” bring discredit to the GAA. If a poll was to be held, Keltic jersies would not be allowed within a three mile radius of GAA grounds.

  • roger

    damn prods – first the football team, then the rugby team, then darren clarke, now a snooker player – lock the b******* up!

    Darren & the rugby team are quite content with the Irish flag.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Ah tis only Union flag cuff links …tis not an issue to keep going on about it and as mentioned already, whether you’re a Séamus, a Táig, a Samuel or a Mervyn, you’re still a ‘Paddy’ to the outside world.

  • Dec

    Patrique

    I’m deducing that you don’t like people watching Celtic matches in your clubhouse. Fine. Though it’s a bit bizarre to label all Celtic supporters as ‘ceasefire Republicans’. I know a few backwoodsman GAA types who still harp on about ‘garrison sports’. Thankfully, they’re in the minority now and should be pitied apart from anything else.

    However your original statement:

    “I am a GAA man, it is traditional for Belfast GAA people to hate Celtic, nothing sectarian in it, they are just our natural enemy.”

    is non-sensical in the extreme and rooted in no reality I recognise.

  • nmc

    Have to agree there Dec.

    With respect to Mark Allen’s cuff links. Jesus wept.

    I will respect Mark’s right to determine his own nationality if he extends the same respect to me. Which I’m going to just assume he does until I hear otherwise.

  • patrique

    Believe me Dec, I am one of the moderates here. There are GAA people who would have Keltic supporters transported to Van Dieman’s land. And I am aware of the many faults in the GAA, although the garrison games is mostly confined to a few spots in the North.

  • Realist

    “If the dude is British and wants to wear Union Jack cufflinks, what the fuck is the problem?”

    Hear, hear kensei.

  • 147

    “If the dude is British and wants to wear Union Jack cufflinks, what the fuck is the problem?”

    However if ‘the dude’ is Irish, (Ken Doherty) he will be referred to as a ‘Beggar’ on the anti-racist, anti-sectarian Northern Ireland Fans Website.
    When th use of this term was raised, the response from the NI fans was the same;- “what the fuck is the problem?”

  • jim

    “If the dude is British and wants to wear Union Jack cufflinks, what the fuck is the problem?”

    Just as well he isn’t Irish from Antrim and decided to wear tricolour cuff links, the same crew would be calling him a splitter, beggar & a psf loving traitor.

  • kensei

    “However if ‘the dude’ is Irish, (Ken Doherty) he will be referred to as a ‘Beggar’ on the anti-racist, anti-sectarian Northern Ireland Fans Website.
    When th use of this term was raised, the response from the NI fans was the same;- “what the fuck is the problem?””

    Except I’m not an NI fan, and that is a whole other issue.

    “Just as well he isn’t Irish from Antrim and decided to wear tricolour cuff links, the same crew would be calling him a splitter, beggar & a psf loving traitor.”

    And they would also be greeted with a similar line – the dude is Irish and wants to wear Tricolour cufflinks, what the fuck is the problem? Actually, maybe I should get me some of those.

  • patrique

    You can’t stop bigots unfortunately. The N.I supporters fan website attracts them, but the IFA have made great strides in eliminating most of them from Windsor, which now has a middle class support, just like the English premiership.

    I began this by asking “are the cuff links relevant?” I still believe the answer is no. And GAA shirts are common in Mark’s local club,in Antrim Town, 60/40 split for those interested, or those from West Belfast who imagine it to be a loyalist stronghold. But as I said, these beliefs are difficult to erode.

  • austin

    Best of luck to Joe and Mark in their matches today. Both are 7/4 against to win their games. A tenner double will get you £65
    Come on you boys on Green!(Baize)

  • disappointedofoslo

    “However if ‘the dude’ is Irish, (Ken Doherty) he will be referred to as a ‘Beggar’ on the anti-racist, anti-sectarian Northern Ireland Fans Website.”

    What exactly has this thread got to do with the OWC site? I can’t see any link at all

    “The N.I supporters fan website attracts them, but the IFA have made great strides in eliminating most of them from Windsor, which now has a middle class support, just like the English premiership.”

    Why can middle-class pepole not be bigots? Are all working-class people bgots?

  • Valenciano

    Hopefully both of them will do well. I went to the crucible a few years back to watch Swale and he seemed a nice enough bloke.

    However the cufflink thing is a complete non-issue. Surely the following is more worthy of a sports thread?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/6599507.stm

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Gas how Sky cashes in. Did the same on the ROI friendies and now folk have to fuck off down to the local to watch the matches, else get Sky in.

    BBC NI did a good job on the coverage, no irritating ads either.

    Subscribe to Sky and sell your soul to Murdoch. Their news coverage is always unbiased and very very true.

  • patrique

    Certainly the middle classes can be bigots, but they hide it better. There are very few working class people left unfortunately, so I cannot answer the second part of the question. Many who used to be working class are now lower middle, economically, and saddest of all, the working class have been replaced by an underclass, who are mostly Thatcherites.

  • The downside of the Sky Deal is that it automatically greatly reduces the public profile of the Northern Ireland team. Once Sky take-over a contract of a ny nature (as Greagoir has stated) the number of individuals who will be able to watch NI live will be massively reduced. The only actual winners are the coffers of Boyce and his mates in the IFA.

    Personally as a Republic fan, I am delighted by this. Keeping NI off terrestrial television is a gift from the Gods, if only because they have been subject to massive overkill over the past year. Not having to hear the juvenile journalistic nonsense spouted by Jackie Fullerton will be simply an added bonus…

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Well NI is a case where certain members of a particular community of middle class people made the balls for certain members of a particular community of working class people to fire them. (and who also did the jail term for it)

  • james

    disasterous decision by the IFA, starving the ordinary punter of watching the games and lowering the interest in ordinary sports fans.

    The Irish government actually stepped in to prevent the FAI from selling the rights for all home games to Sky, thank god, and insisted they be kept on terrestrial television (rte/tv3).

    To be honest two and a half million a year is not that great a deal when you consider the huge loss of terrestrial television coverage.

    Armstrong is naturally in favour of the deal as he is employed by Sky, but it looks like Fullerton will be hanging up the old mictophone

  • Diluted Orange

    Nice to see so many cross-community sentiments being shown on this site. What’s the big deal? Why is the Unionist identity so abhorrent to so many people here?

    I gather if he wore a pair of tricolour cufflinks that would be OK. We should should all just crawl back into the big Orange hole we came from right because we have the audacity to want to remain British?

  • Dissenter

    “Why is the Unionist identity so abhorrent to so many people ?”

    Should make it simple for youse…it’s because it’s tragically uncool, corny and a bit shite…as a Norn Iron ex-pat in Sussex I can report that the one event that celebrated St. George’s Day seemed to be attended by a lot of right-wing twats that ye wouldn’t be seen dead with, with Bernard Manning as the guest of honour (I’m not rakin ye)…here’s what I reckon…Norn Iron Prods should get a bit more clued-up about the whole Scots-Irish, founders-of-bluegrass music, Davy Crockett, kickin ass in America stuff along with the 1798 rebellion…much more compelling and reflective of the contrary, non-conformist Ulster attitude…all the Union-Jack-waving shite is an embarrassment…try living in England and then see how ‘British’ you feel…

  • Cahal

    Where do you buy union jack cuff links? God know’s I’ve been searching. My da’s birthday is coming up.

    Diluted Orange
    “I gather if he wore a pair of tricolour cufflinks that would be OK.”

    Err, if a chucky wore a pair of Tricolour cuff links when he was playing a prod, I’d be cringing for him. But hey, whatever he’s into. Personally I like the little furry dice cuff links.

    Fashion faux pas as my other half would say.

  • Cromwell

    Dissenter in, snooker player wears pair of union jack cufflinks, condemns ALL prods as a bunch of,tragically uncool, corny, no nothing flag waving right wingers, shocker!
    How uncool, corny & a bit shite are you with your big sweeping brush there?