John Virgo’s new autobiography hits the shelves next week

Former UK Championship winner and BBC commentator John Virgo lifts the lid on how gambling wrecked his dreams of becoming World Champion and almost bankrupted him in his new autobiography.

‘Say Goodnight JV’ will be available to buy online and from book stores from November 2.

Virgo made it professional in the mid 1970s and enjoyed early success reaching the semi-finals of the World Championship in 1979 before winning the UK Championship in the same year beating Terry Griffiths in the final.

During his playing days he won more than a quarter of a million pounds in prize money. He officially retired in 1995.

He then went on to present snooker game show Big Break with Jim Davidson and become a regular face on BBC’s live snooker coverage which he still does to this day.

The synopsis for the book reads: “In this revelatory memoir, snooker player John Virgo turns the spotlight on himself, sharing secrets from his forty years at the top of one of the world’s most popular sports.

“Famous for his hilarious impersonations of snooker’s biggest stars, JV is a household name thanks to his razor-sharp BBC Snooker commentary and the much-loved quiz show Big Break.

“A fascinating insight into British sporting life, taking readers from John’s childhood in Salford, through smoky snooker dens, to tournaments and championships all over the world, as he relives travelling on Concorde, rubbing shoulders with royalty and much more.

“Admiringly nicknamed ‘Mr Perfection’, John tells how he overcame adversity to become UK champion, yet also reveals how gambling wrecked his dreams of becoming World Champion, and almost bankrupted him.An affectionate reminder of a time when Britain – and sport – took themselves a little less seriously. With a foreword by snooker legend Jimmy White.”

The book is published by John Blake books and is priced from £16.

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