STUART BINGHAM says he is looking forward to the challenge of playing all-comers in a charity fundraiser in Essex this Friday night (June 9).
The 2015 world champion will be taking on enthusiasts in single frames at Rayleigh Lanes Snooker Hall (which you can get directions to by clicking here) if they make a £20 donation to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The 24-hour snooker marathon event has been organised by Bingham’s long-standing friend Peter Ward and is being held in memory of the world No 9’s late father-in-law Terry Shabi, who passed away in March 2014 at the age of 62.
Bingham said: “I’m not sure I will be able to make it through the whole 24 hours but I am looking forward to doing my part, and I am looking forward to playing any punters who want to take me on.
“I think one guy is going to pay £100 for five frames against me, which he thinks is good value to face a former world champion.
“Obviously the charity is one that is very close to our hearts and we hope we can raise as much as possible for the great work it does.” (You can make a donation for the fundraiser by clicking on this link).
It will be the start of a busy weekend for Bingham as he – and many of snooker’s biggest stars – are due to attend the wedding of world No 23 Michael Holt on Sunday.
At the start of the week Bingham got the new season off to a great start with back-to-back wins in qualifiers at the Preston Guild Hall.
Under the guidance of his new coach Terry Griffiths, Bingham beat China’s Li Hang 4-1 to book at spot at the Riga Masters, and then Q-School graduate Billy Joe Castle 5-0 for a place at the China Championship.
Ballrun said: “I was not at my best but I only dropped one frame and Terry said to me it was just getting through that mattered.
“It has been good having Terry on board after 18 months without a coach and he is very proactive – he is always on the phone to me!
“But it has been very helpful and I am looking forward to a good season working with him.”
It is Bingham’s 22nd season as a snooker professional and he admits he does not know where the time has gone.
He added: “Off the top of my head, I can only think of Nigel Bond, Mark King, Anthony Hamilton, Mark Davis and Joe Perry who have been on the Tour longer than me. The ones who are older basically!
“And – after I tweeted the other day it was my 22nd season – Sean O’Sullivan said to me, ‘I was a one-year-old when you started’. Which was just what I wanted to hear!”
Bingham is next in action against Mark Davis at the Kaspersky Riga Masters in Latvia on Friday, June 23.