UK Snooker Championship 2017: Welsh teenager Jackson Page eager to play …

Jackson Page reached the third round of the 2017 Welsh Open as a 15-year-old
2017 UK Championship
Date: 28 Nov-10 Dec Venue: York Barbican
Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app from 2 December.

Jackson Page faces the biggest match of his life on Thursday night when he plays ”idol” Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round of the UK Championship.

The 16-year-old Welsh amateur is a late call-up for Rhys Clark and makes his York debut against five-time winner and five-time world champion O’Sullivan.

”Growing up that’s who you wanted to aim to be like, to be as good as him and to play him,” Page told BBC Sport.

”When I was growing up that was one of my dreams to play him… I can’t wait.”

Page made a huge impact at the 2017 Welsh Open in Cardiff last February, when the then 15-year-old was handed a wildcard entry and defeated two professionals to reach the last 32.

The Ebbw Vale schoolboy came from behind to beat Jason Weston 4-3 in the opening round and then saw off John Astley by the same score, before falling to Judd Trump – who would lose a thrilling final 9-8 to Stuart Bingham.

Page did not expect to be playing at the UK Championship, but his surprise invite to York came as a result of the withdrawal of Scotland’s Clark for medical reasons.

”When I got the ‘phone call I thought it was going to be about the Scottish Open… I thought it was long gone being able to get into the UK Championship,” Page said.

”Then when they rang saying who I had I was ecstatic. Ronnie was – well still is – my idol.”

O’Sullivan is bidding to equal Stephen Hendry’s record of 18 ‘triple crown’ titles at this year’s UK Championship, where he won the tournament three years ago.

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