STUART BINGHAM says he is very pleased with his new career-illustrating tattoo – but admits it was one of the most painful experiences of his life!
Ballrun’s back is now completely covered with imagery which depicts animals representing the countries where he has won his six ranking titles.
There are three lions to denote World and English championship success, and a koala to denote his first title win in Australia in 2011.
There is also a Chinese dragon marking the 2014’s Shanghai Masters victory, a Welsh dragon for the 2017 win in Wales, and a Barbary ape for the most recent title at the 2019 Gibraltar Open.
The design also includes the name of Bingham’s son Shae, and the centre piece is his 2015 World Championship trophy.
The work was done by Wickford-based tattoo artist Paul Boxall (pictured with Bingham). His company is Brothers in Arts Tattoo and Paul can be found on Instagram at user name @paulboxalltattoo
Bingham said: “I’m really pleased with it but having it done absolutely killed at times and I can’t recommend having a tattoo done on your shoulder blades!
“A couple of years ago I didn’t have a single one and now I have quite a few.
“It was actually Mark King who started me off and he said, ‘Once you get one done you won’t stop.’ And he was right.
“I’ve got Marine’s name at the top of my arm and next I want to get the sleeve done.
“But I am definitely a bit short on space on my back now so if I win a few more titles then I think they’ll have to go on top of my shoulders!
“I met Paul when Marnie was ill and we were at Basildon hospital. His son was in the opposite bed. He recognised me and we got chatting. So I guess it was just meant to be.”
Ballrun’s season started with a 4-1 defeat to China’s Li Hang at the Riga Masters qualifiers.
But he has just enjoyed a 6-1 win over China’s Tian Pengfei to qualify for a first round meeting with Mark Joyce at the International Championship in Daqing (August 4-11).
Bingham added: “I didn’t start too well against Li Hang and the the wheels fell off a little bit. I was trying to find my game and a bit rusty.
“So was not looking forward to my second game, and he made 116 in the first frame. But I settled down and potted a few balls and played okay in the end.
“Now I am looking forward to Daqing. I think I’ve got to the semi there before and the tables run nice so hopefully I can have a good run.”