The atmosphere was on cue in Antrim this evening as fans gathered to welcome local 2018 Masters Snooker Champion, Mark Allen for a celebration event. The snooker superstar was on form when he shot a spectacular 147 break to the cheers of his home crowd during his frame against Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Hamill.
Organised by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and hosted by BBC’s Stephen Watson, the celebration event took place at Antrim Forum and was attended by approximately 500 well-wishers. As well as the many Mark Allen fans, guests also included friends, family and local snooker club members.
Speaking at the event, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Hamill commented; “Mark’s recent big break at the 2018 Snooker Masters, where he sunk Kyren Wilson 10-7, as well as taking on Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins on his way to the final is no doubt a massive achievement and we, as a Borough are extremely proud.”
He continued, “Mark is the first Northern Irishman to win one of snooker's three major titles since Dennis Taylor's Masters victory in 1987. It is my honour to congratulate him on not just this amazing achievement but as an ambassador for his home town of Antrim."
Mark Allen commented, “I am overwhelmed with the support here this evening. I started playing snooker at a young age and have been a member of both Riverside Snooker Club in Antrim and after it closed, 147 Snooker Club. It is great to see so many of my supporters here this evening and I am delighted to have this celebration event so that I can give something back to the people of my home town.”