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Ken denies internet claims that he is a Barnsley fan but is looking forward to coming back

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Thursday 10th July 2014
Ken Doherty.

Former snooker world champion Ken Doherty says internet suggestions that he is a Barnsley fan are not true but he is looking forward to coming back to the town to play next month and may make another visit to Oakwell.

 

Online encyclopedia Wikipedia claims Doherty – who will be one of the snooker stars taking part in the free Shanghai Masters qualifying event at the Metrodome in a month's time – 'is a follower of Barnsley after attending Barnsley's pre-season friendly against Manchester City in 2009'.

 

The 44-year-old Irishman told the Chronicle: "I've read that but it's not really true. I did go to that game with (Maltese snooker player) Tony Drago because he wanted to see his friend Daniel Bogdanovic who played for Barnsley at the time. It was a good game and Barnsley played well.

 

"Someone obviously saw I was at the game and thought I was a Barnsley fan but I don't support any one club. I am a fan of all football.

 

"I don't mind that being on my Wikipedia page though. It doesn't do me any harm.

 

"I have been to Oakwell a couple of times and always thought it was a good stadium with a great crowd. I was sad to see them go down and I hope they can bounce straight back."

 

Doherty got a taste of the Reds' supporters' banter in October last year when he was last in Barnsley for a World Snooker event. He was invited to the match against Reading and took a penalty on the pitch at half-time which was saved by fellow Irishman, Reds academy goalkeeper Conor Mackey.

 

"I got a bit of stick from the Barnsley fans after that but it was all good fun. I would like to go to another match when I am back in Barnsley because it's handy being right across the road from the Metrodome. I'll try and score the penalty this time if I take one."

 

Doherty is looking forward to returning to the Metrodome from August 12-15, after it hosted several World Snooker events in the last year. He said: "I think they have done a great job with the venue at Barnsley and the facilities are fantastic. There has been a very good atmosphere in the past and hopefully this time we will get even bigger crowds.

 

"It's very important that people can come for free. There are so many other things to do in the summer months so we have to give fans as many reasons as possible to come and watch us. Hopefully the people of Barnsley will take the chance to see some top class snooker."

 

Several players, including the sport's most famous name Ronnie O'Sullivan, claimed after the last trip to Barnsley that the Metrodome was too hot to play in. Doherty, who won the world title in 1997, said: "It was a bit warm but you're always going to get that in a leisure centre. I think the organisers did as well as they possibly could have done and I didn't hear many players complaining."

 

Qualifiers for the Indian Open, on September 18-21 and the International Championship on September 22-25 will also take place in Barnsley with tickets priced at £5 per day. For more details, go to www.worldsnooker.com/tickets.