Was Mark Selby’s glorious 147 written in the stars for Vichai?

Sometimes snooker is a lot more than just knocking in big breaks and producing good safety play.

Like with every other sport, there are times when real life events completely overshadow what the game is all about. It is at these times which show the true identity of sport.

And you got the feeling yesterday that snooker fans saw a lot more than just a 147 break.

There was emotion, pride and pure delight as another fantastic moment in the sport’s history was witnessed in Coventry.

But out of all the 147s made in the history of the game – and there has been a lot – Selby’s maximum had a degree of reflection and a fittingness to it which made it extra special.

But why was that?

Mark Selby. Picture by Monique Limbos

The world number one was in China ten days ago when in his home city of Leicester – a devastating helicopter crash happened outside his favourite football team’s stadium. The tragedy sent shock-waves to the community and around the world.

The devastating crash killed five people – including the proud and hugely respected owner of Leicester City Football Club Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

During the International Championship, Selby expressed his devastation about the awful events which unfolded and admitted he struggled to play because of what was going on back home.

At one stage he tweeted a picture of himself and Mr Srivaddhanaprabha standing together at a Leicester City match. From the image, the two clearly had a close bond and a deep defying love for Leicester City.

Mark Selby loves Leicester and Leicester loves him back. He has previously done lap of honours around the pitch at the King Power Stadium holding aloft his World Championship trophy. He is proud of his Leicester roots.

And there has even been talk of a mural being installed in dedication to him as a way of celebrating his super talents on the snooker table.

So how fitting that Selby completed a brilliant 147 in his first match in the UK since the devastating events which unfolded almost a fortnight ago.

When knocking in the final black, Selby looks down for a second or two and you just wonder if Mr Srivaddhanaprabha was deep in his thoughts at that precise moment.

That 147 was a gift to the people of Leicester at a time when the city is still in shock and is in deep need of cheering up.

And maybe, just maybe, it was the perfect goodbye to Vichai that Selby wanted to give him – especially after missing out on International Championship glory.

Though Selby does not gain financially from the maximum – that’s another debate for another article – it will probably go down as the most special 147s he will ever make.

You could argue that such a brilliant and an emotionally filled moment was written in the stars.

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