Teenager Lewis is heading to the front of the cue

Lewis Ullah
Lewis Ullah
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World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn recently said: “If you have the ability and the belief, then your chances are good. The best will rise to the top.”

Well Burnley’s Lewis Ullah is making his ascent. The 16-year-old former Hameldon student has talent and confidence in abundance as he bids to make a name for himself in the sport.

Lewis pictured with England B

Lewis pictured with England B

The Burnley College student is currently making headway on the Autobahn to becoming a professional but he’s looking to get in lane with the extensive list of 2018 Q School winners.

The likes of Jak Jones, Sam Baird, Hammad Miah, Sam Craigie, Jordan Brown, Craig Steadman, Lu Ning, Zhao Xintong, Thor Chuan Leong, Kishan Hirani, Andy Lee and Ashley Carty have just earned themselves a new two-year World Snooker Tour card.

Lewis’s ticket to success surely isn’t far away. The teenager, beaten 4-2 by Simon Blackwell in the Ronnie Laycock Individual Final, captained England B to glory in the Home Internationals at Leeds Snooker Centre, his second successive victory in the tournament.

“When you’ve got a talent like this it needs to be nurtured,” said dad, Matthew. “He’s hit goals I could never have imagined him reaching at this stage. I’m over the moon for him and very proud.”

Lewis has had a cue glued to his hand since infancy having been inspired by his elder brother, Jordan, who sadly died in 2009.

Barring an experimental phase in his early teenage years, where Lewis flirted with the idea of becoming a footballer, with stints at Daneshouse, Blackburn Rovers, Colne FC Juniors and Readstone, he’s always romanticised about becoming a champion at the Crucible. He’s already rubbed shoulders with some of the most esteemed players in the sport.

Having earned recognition from six-time World champion Steve Davis following his charitable work for the Paul Hunter Foundation, he would later have a table donated by “The Magician” Shaun Murphy and played Scottish sensation Stephen Hendry in a one-frame exhibition in Birmingham eight years ago.

“It’s good but I’m looking for more sponsorship so I can go further,” said Lewis. “It’s an expensive sport, especially when you’re trying to turn pro. I’m entering as many tournaments as I can to try and get my pro ticket. We played at Leeds Northern Snooker Centre for the Home Internationals and we ended up winning it with me as captain for the England B team.

“I’ve won the competition two years on the spin now. I’m very happy with that. Breaking in to the under 21s set-up is the next goal for me now.”

After guiding his nation to victories over the Republic of Ireland, England A, Wales, who were armed with Jackson Page, Belgium and a whitewash over Scotland, Lewis went on to reach the semi-finals of the National Junior Premier Tour in Chesterfield.

He beat Reggie Edwards, practice partner of Luke Pinches, along the way as well as last year’s under 18 champion Hamim Hussain but lost out to Portsmouth’s Mark Lloyd in the final four of the competition.

Lewis, whose idol is Mark Selby, said: “I’m hopeful of becoming a professional within the next few years. I’ve just got to keep practising as hard as I can. I’ve taken a lot of confidence from my recent achievements, particularly representing my country. That’s a good thing to have on your CV.

“It’s not an easy sport to break in to but I’ve been doing it for a long time now. I’m quite happy with my game at the moment. I’m trying to make my own way in the game but my brother has inspired me.

“I started playing snooker because of him. He was a very good player and I remember watching him play at Pontins. I want to make a living out of doing this.”

Lewis would like to thank Peter Novak from the Fire Pit in Rawtenstall, Mick Cookson of Russian Empire, Freddy’s Chicken in Nelson and Bradley’s Building Supplies for their ongoing sponsorship and support.

After guiding his nation to victories over the Republic of Ireland, England A, Wales, who were armed with Jackson Page, Belgium and a whitewash over Scotland, Lewis went on to reach the semi-finals of the National Junior Premier Tour in Chesterfield.

He beat Reggie Edwards, practice partner of Luke Pinches, along the way as well as last year’s under 18 champion Hamim Hussain but lost out to Portsmouth’s Mark Lloyd in the final four of the competition.

Lewis, whose idol is Mark Selby, said: “I’m hopeful of becoming a professional within the next few years. I’ve just got to keep practising as hard as I can. I’ve taken a lot of confidence from my recent achievements, particularly representing my country. That’s a good thing to have on your CV.

“It’s not an easy sport to break in to but I’ve been doing it for a long time now. I’m quite happy with my game at the moment. I’m trying to make my own way in the game but my brother has inspired me.

“I started playing snooker because of him. He was a very good player and I remember watching him play at Pontins. I want to make a living out of doing this.”

Lewis would like to thank Peter Novak from the Fire Pit in Rawtenstall, Mick Cookson of Russian Empire, Tony from Freddy’s Chicken in Nelson and Bradley Building Supplies in Nelson for their ongoing sponsorship and support.