First official tournament 147 of career a 'special moment' for Alfie Burden
PUBLISHED: 16:06 19 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:06 19 October 2016
Settling down on the green baize at the English Open to pot the final black while on a break of 140, Hatfield snooker player Alfie Burden told himself 'whatever you do don't miss this'.
A fist pump and yell of delight soon followed as Burden, a professional of 22 years, registered his first 147 maximum in an official tournament.
The 39-year-old went on to lose the first round match with Wales’ Daniel Wells 4-3, but despite the ‘disappointing’ defeat it was a career goal achieved.
“I had always wanted to get a 147 before I retired,” Burden told Welwyn Hatfield Times.
“I’d had three before in tournaments, but none in official professional events.
“It was such a special moment especially as my dad was watching in the crowd too.
“It won’t be taken off me, only 122 players have registered a 147 in the game’s history.
“I was disappointed to lose the match though; you don’t lose many when you have a century and two 80 breaks.”
Talking through the memorable sixth frame, which lasted eight minutes 35 seconds, he said: “Nothing was really on when I started the break. When I was on 56 I went in to the pack of reds and it spread like cherries.
“I had to hold it together, managed to get on the colours perfectly and when I got on the final black I thought ‘whatever you do don’t miss this’.
“When it went in I gave a little fist pump and a yell, I think I upset those on the next table.”
While at the tail-end of his career, Burden, who turned professional in 1994, is enjoying his most successful year in the game.
In 2016 he has reached the quarter-final stage at ranking events for the first time with fine displays at both the European Masters, where he lost to world number one Mark Selby, and the China Open where former world number two Stephen Maguire halted his progress.
“My form is good at the moment having made two ranking event quarter-finals this year,” he said.
“I feel I can go deep into tournaments.
“The main objective now is to be in the top 64 to remain on the tour next year. I’m 64 at the moment and am looking in good shape for it.
“It’s an exciting time to be playing the game. With Barry Hearn’s influence there are more and more tournaments and more money up for grabs.
“If you were in your 20s starting out it would be a great time to be involved.
“I’m 40 this year. I take things season by season, but I’m in good shape and hope to maybe play for four or five more seasons.”
This season Burden has a new sponsor in recruitment company Primary Care People and he feels this has helped him increase his focus.
He added: “Their support has made a difference for me and has given me the confidence to work hard.”