World Pool star Karl Boyes is hoping to help to the next generation of sporting stars get their big break having taken charge of Blackpool’s last snooker and pool hall.
Blackpool-based Karl, a former world champion, has helped Europe bag the Mosconi Cup – Pool’s equivalent of golf’s Ryder Cup – three times.
But his latest challenge is closer to home.
Q’s snooker hall on Lytham Road, South Shore, was the last remaining dedicated venue in the resort.
And now Karl’s name is, quite literally, over the door –with the centre rebranded as Karl Boyes Q Sports Lounge.
The eight ball champion has shown he’s not afraid to muck in – swapping his pool cue for a paint roller to help with a massive renovation of the premises.
Karl and business partner Phil Hughes, have invested somewhere in the region of £40,000 in the site – fitting new ceilings, carpets, a new bar and given the whole place a new lick of paint.
And, after last night’s grand opening, Karl is hoping to make the snooker hall a base for up and coming talent.
He’s even ready to start offering expert tuition.
“I started off playing in pubs around Manchester,” said Karl, 24.
“It’s not a great environment.
“A snooker hall is very different. We want to be able to develop young talent, to give the next Karl Boyes a chance to make their name.”
Karl has had his work cut out.
He only collected the keys to Q’s on Monday.
And since then, along with a team of 12 painters, decorators and builders, he’s been working around the clock to get the venue ready.
“It’s been a real 15 minute makeover job.
“When we went in it was like stepping back 30 years.
“We’ve had so much to do, we really were working every hour to transform the place.”
And Karl is keen to shake off the traditional image of the snooker hall.
“We want this to be a place where everybody feels welcome.
“There is a certain impression that people have of a snooker club, that it’s a closed off world, a clique.
“We don’t want it to be like that, we want people to feel they can come in and join in.
“We’re hoping to get all sorts of things going.
“I want to offer tuition, we want to have junior sessions running – all to get more people at the table. You have to start young if you’re going to get to the top, it’s the same in any sport.”
Karl is also keen to boost the South Shore economy with his venture
He said: “Hopefully as well we can provide a lift for the area.”
Former Miss Poulton and current Sky Sports walk on girl Jade Slusarczyk was among the guests for last night’s grand opening.