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Hornchurch potter Parker is crowned European Masters Under-21 champ

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 October 2018

Hornchurch snooker player Emma Parker with the European Masters under-21 trophy

Hornchurch snooker player Emma Parker with the European Masters under-21 trophy

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But World age group number one is still searching for sponsors

Emma Parker the Hornchurch snooker playerEmma Parker the Hornchurch snooker player

Emma Parker was celebrating this week after lifting the European under-21 Masters title in Belgium to make her number one in the world in the age group, writes Dave Evans.

But she almost didn’t go to the event in Lommel at all.

“It was very much a last-minute thing,” said the 19-year-old Hornchurch potter.

“We couldn’t really afford to go and my parents were not going to be able to go, so that was it I thought. But one of the other players offered to take me, so I met her at the airport and it proved to be a good trip.”

Parker, who lives in Hillview Avenue, has grown up with a cue in her hand so it is little wonder that she has blossomed into such an accomplished player.

“I started playing pool at the age of about four,” she said.

“I would have to stand on a stool to take on the men, but they would never let me go on the snooker table because I was too small.

“Then when I was about 14 my dad Darren and uncle Michael took me to Romford Snooker Club and they were impressed there with the way I held the cue.”

The rest, as they say, is history for the talented right-hander. Helped by coach Gary Filtness she has developed into an impressive player, culminating in that win in the European Masters.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though, as she explained.

“I was in the senior event as well and got through the group and then beat a German girl in the last 16 before playing against a Thai in the quarter-final,” she said.

It didn’t go well as she was beaten 3-0 by Nutcharut Wongharuthai, who went on to lose to Reanna Evans, who had brought Parker to the event in the first place.

But Parker was able to get her own back on the Thai as they met again in the under-21 final where she won 2-0 to go to the top of the world rankings.

Parker has only been playing on the circuit for two years and her top break is 86, though in practice she has made a century.

“I feel that I am improving and that century in a match is going to come soon,” she said.

The absence of any funding is a problem for Parker who has to fit practice and tournaments around her work as an accounts assistant in Hornchurch.

“It is tough to get in as much practice as I’d like. I get down to Romford and also to the Upton Park club when I can, though fortunately I have a table at home as well,” she said.

It seems that the teenager has huge potential. She has played her hero Ronnie O’Sullivan and even took a frame off him.

“He is my hero, though Reanna Evans is in the women’s game,” she said.

“I would really like to get some sponsorship for the future, but it is very difficult. I won the European Masters under-21s but I only got £50 for it, so it is certainly not big money.

“All the Thais and the Chinese players are state sponsored, but we get nothing over here.”

Her next big event is the Masters competition which takes place in Gloucester in November where she will once again play in the senior and under-21 events.

It looks like only a matter of time before she makes the big breakthrough and is ranked in the top 10 in the senior game.

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