Question time: Keith Warren chats with Dom Howson

Academy director Keith Warren
Academy director Keith Warren

Keith Warren is the Academy Director for the Star Snooker Academy based at Firshill Crescent, Sheffield.

Keith Warren is the Academy Director for the Star Snooker Academy based at Firshill Crescent, Sheffield.

Q: What have you been doing today?

A: I arrived at the academy at 10am to get the tables ready for the players to practice on. I dealt with urgent emails and then had lunch at Sheffield United’s academy restaurant around 12.30pm. After that, I did general office work until around 6pm.

Q:Who is your inspiration and why?

A:I used to be inspired by Tiger Woods, although he didn’t turn out to be the most genuine person in the world. I admired how he went about his business and desire to try and better Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 major titles.

Q: Which sports star did you admire when you were growing up?

A: I am a big Liverpool FC supporter and Steven Gerrard is my idol. I have always liked him. He is a good captain, leader and done great for England. If he keeps fit, he could go on until 38 or 39 like Ryan Giggs.

Q: What’s your favourite other sport and why?

A: I like golf. I used to play a lot but I don’t have time anymore.

Q: Who is the most famous person in your phone?

A: Probably Ronnie O’Sullivan. He practiced here the week before this year’s world championships. It is an honour for somebody like Ronnie to use our facilities.

Q: When was the last time you cried?

A: After Liverpool beat AC Milan on penalties in the 2005 Champions League final, they played the Sean Connery version of the Beatles song ‘In My Life’ and that brought a tear to my eye. It was very emotional.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

A: There is a saying that goes ‘everything is a state of mind no matter what situation you are in.’

Q: When did you know you were good at what you do?

A: I don’t know if I am good. You feel honoured when overseas players want to practice here. We have quite a few Thai players, including Dechawat Poomjaeng, who use our facilities. We’ve got quite a few Chinese players too and Ding Junhui is the top resident professional player at the Academy. My business partner, Garry Baldrey and I look after the players.

Q: What one item do you take with you wherever you go?

A: My grandmother gave me a ring when my grandfather died 30 years ago and I have worn it ever since.

Q: What is the most nervous you’ve ever been?

A: I get very nervous if I have to do public speaking. It is not my forte.

Q: Do you ever doubt yourself?

A: Not really.

Q: What is your view on social network sites like Twitter and Facebook?

A: They are very informative. You have to be very careful if you are a professional sports person or you can land yourself in a lot of trouble. It is so easy to say the wrong thing or for things to be taken out of context on Twitter or Facebook.

Q: How do you relax away from sport?

A: In my spare time, I go to the gym, go swimming and watch Liverpool FC.

Q: Where was your last holiday?

A: I’ve not had a holiday for a couple of years. I enjoy Sheffield in July and August when the students go home for summer as the city goes nice and quiet. I’m hoping to have a holiday next year.

Q: Do you cook? If so, what’s you favourite dish?

A: I don’t cook. I get fed really well by Sheffield United. They make healthy stuff for the footballers so I normally have a big cooked lunch and just snack for the rest of the day.

Q: What was the last book you read?

A: Fernando Torres’ autobiography. It was very enjoyable. It explains how he got involved in football, discusses his time at Athletico Madrid and how he was a Liverpool fan.

Q: If you weren’t involved in sport, what would you be doing?

A: Before I got into snooker, I used to be a plumber.

Q: What is your favourite TV programme?

A: Games of Thrones.