FORMER snooker world champion Dennis Taylor has given the thumbs up to a new snooker club in Whitley Bay.
The 1985 champion dropped into Whitley Bay Snooker Club before Christmas as a favour to his friend Paul Rinaldi, who opened the club in Whitley Road at the beginning of December.
The Northern Irish star took on some of the club members before finishing the night off with a few of his famous trickshots.
And he was full of praise for the club, saying he hoped local people take up the opportunity to play the sport.
Speaking to the News Guardian, Dennis said: “The facilities here are great. Paul has a table from the UK Championships, which we need to find the history of, and another star table.
“Not many clubs have access to two tables like that.
“It’s now just up to local people to get behind the club. Snooker is popular all over the world.
“There is the chance for people to play with their mates, or even play pool with their girlfriend. I think Paul has got the right balance here.”
He added: “I only started playing snooker again recently, with the Legends and UK Seniors events. I don’t normally do events like this, but this was a favour for Paul who is trying to promote the game up here.
“He does a lot for sport, and charity and is involved in the Paul Hunter Foundation.
“Paul is a good coach and he will be encouraging the kids to take up the sport, as well as holding sessions for seniors as well.”
Paul has a number of events planned this year with snooker stars, including Shaun Murphy and Jimmy White.
The club, over the former Co-Op store, is open 11am to 11pm seven days a week.