About Ken
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His Early Life
Born in Holles Street Hospital Dublin in 1969, one of a family of four, the young Ken attended Westland Row Christian Brothers School. It was during these early formative years that the first seeds of a glittering career were firmly planted. "I was given my first snooker cue at the age of ten, but I wasn't allowed into 'Jason's', so I had to wait for my older brother to bring me on Sundays" he recalls. "There were loads of kids there, pool tables, space invaders machines -- it was a cool place to be."
Although the youngster was clearly becoming more accomplished with each game, as a thirteen-year-old school-going child, he could obviously ill afford to spend all his pocket money on the table -- and this is where the intervention of the owners made a difference. "They approached the manager, Andy Collins, who still works here and agreed to give me free play every day; then they began to sponsor me in a local tournament, the Irish U.16 senior league. Without their support, I would never have adapted or developed" he says, deep gratitude plainly evident in his voice."
From those amateur competition and hours of disciplined practice, ("sometimes by the sunlight because I had no money!") Ken Doherty and his now escalating loyal team of supporters, strove to make it into the highly competitive arena of professional snooker, a journey which was to see him leave behind the security of a close-knit community and venture out into the unknown.

From the isolation of his own flat and the major struggle in climbing in the rankings, the earnest Ken accepted a job at Goffs, a move which was to place him that little bit closer to his revered heroes. "I worked in Goffs as an usher and it gave me a great insight, I got to meet all the players....and I always dreamt of being a great player."
Yet the rocky road to success was not uneventful and along the way there were many obstacles and hurdles to overcome -- at such times the day when he would finally raise the world championship trophy in front of an exuberant audience seemed an unattainable dream. "Yes, I got frustrated" he admits, momentarily immersed in those difficult times again. "Especially the year I didn't qualify for automatic professional status....I had to wait for another year...I threw my cue under the bed and said I never wanted to see it again!"

KEN Doherty's string of successes as an amateur proved his ability and tenacity and he has continued to display those qualities throughout his professional career.

Although he turned professional in 1990, it took until the 1993 Welsh Open for him to win his first ranking title. Renowned as a tough opponent, Doherty seemed not to be fulfilling his potential until he became the surprise winner of the 1997 world championship. At The Crucible, he proved to himself and his critics that he could produce the goods at the very highest level and beat Stephen Hendry 18-12 in the final to claim the trophy. Doherty thus became the first player ever to win both the world amateur and world professional championships.

Hailed as a hero in Dublin and throughout Ireland, Doherty was given a rapturous reception on his return to Dublin with the world trophy.

As well as that welcome, a further 55,000 cheered him on at Old Trafford, when he paraded the trophy on the ground of his favourite football team - Manchester United.

Doherty's win proved particularly popular with local law enforcement in Dublin. Between 7pm and 10pm on the night of the world final, the main police station did not receive a single call to report a crime. It appeared that everybody in Ireland had stopped what they were doing to watch their hero. The 1997/98 season was a bit of an anti-climax as Doherty struggled to find the form that had won him the world title. He defeated John Higgins 7-5 in the final of the Malta Grand Prix and reached the semi-finals of the Thailand Masters, losing 5-4 to Hendry. In March 1998 he was runner-up to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the B&H Irish Masters, but was later awarded the title when O'Sullivan failed a drugs test and was stripped of his title and prize money. On his return to The Crucible, he defended his title with pride, but could not resist the surge of John Higgins to take the title and oust Hendry as the world No.1.

The only real highlight of a quiet 1998/99 season was reaching the final of the B&H Masters, where John Higgins again proved the stumbling block. Although Doherty led 8-6, the Scot took the next four frames in a row to deny the Dubliner.

In the 1999/2000 season, Ken once again burst into life at Wembley. He lost a pulsating final 10-8 to Matthew Stevens but will go down in history as the man who missed the black for a maximum. But true to form, Doherty put the miss behind him and went straight on to lift the Rothmans Malta Grand Prix title, beating Mark Williams 9-3 in the final.

Last season, Doherty became only the eighth player to win back-to-back ranking events when he took the Thailand Masters title in March in addition to his win at the Regal Welsh in January. He came very close to winning a third ranking title in succession - losing out to Peter Ebdon in the final of the Regal Scottish. However, by the end of the season he had done enough to make his way back into the top four on the world ranking list.

The 2001/02 season saw Ken reach the final of the UK Championship, and the Regal Welsh Open, the Irishman having to give second best to Ronnie O'Sullivan and Paul Hunter respectively.

Once away from the snooker table, Ken's interest turns to football. As an ardent fan of Manchester United, he follows his team at every available opportunity.

But a more important match was made in December 2001, when Ken married girlfriend Sarah in Australia