Romford snooker star Matthew Selt says lockdown revolutionised his life away from the snooker

PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 October 2020

Matthew Selt in action

Matthew Selt in action

PA Archive/PA Images

Matthew Selt says lockdown revolutionised his life away from the snooker table and laid the foundations for a prosperous career once he hangs up his cue.

The Romford potter crashed out of the English Open in the second round on Wednesday, losing a see-saw encounter against Chinese player Xu Si 4-3.

But snooker is just part of the world No.27’s revolutionised lifestyle these days, having used the Covid-19-enforced break to set up a watch business, car company and take steps into entering the property market.

With the help of his dad, Michael, Selt swapped baize for business and reckons he’s a happier person for it both on and off the table.

“Lockdown has completely changed my life and changed the way I perceive everything,” the 35-year-old said.

“I always panicked about what life would be like after snooker because I’ve never done anything, and to be honest with you it was a thousand times better.

“I’ve set up a watch business - I’ve been interested in watches for years but I’ve set up my own business about three months ago which is great.

“And I’ve started up a car company with my dad and we’re going to go into property as well.

“Snooker’s way down the list now - I’m very fortunate to be able to earn a living through snooker but it’s not going to be able to give me a retirement fund. I don’t want to be turning around thinking ‘what am I going to do now?’

You may also want to watch:

“I’ve said it for four or five months now that the World Championships will probably be my last tournament where I practice every day for as a professional. I think it will be that - but I’ll still play and I still enjoy playing.”

Selt still showed signs he knows what he’s doing with a cue in hand as he composed steady breaks of 70 and 54 under the Marshall Arena lights.

But visits of 88, 84 and 64 from world No.85 Xu dashed his hopes of progression at the maiden Home Nations event of the season.

Snooker’s always been number one for Selt but a pivot towards ventures away from sport provided him with a welcome distraction during lockdown.

And he worries for many players on the circuit who may be left with few career options once their time at the table comes to an end.

“There are so many players that I look at and just think ‘wow, what are you going to do when snooker’s finished?’” he added.

“Because it could be any time - I just think when snooker’s finished what are you going to do? Because you’re not going to be able to return and the days are getting numbered.

“I’ve got time on my side which is why I decided to try and do something else as well.

“If you’re passionate about something try and get some money out of it if you can, but some people are not fortunate enough to be in that position.

“I’m very fortunate with the infrastructure I’ve got and the family behind me. A lot of people don’t have that. It worried me but it opened my eyes up, which is good.”

Watch the snooker English Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport app and Quest

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Romford Recorder