A budding snooker player is on cue for international fame after being talent spotted playing in a Warrington pub.

James Beaton, a 27-year-old account manager at O2 in Preston Brook, has been selected to play in the World and Master Black Ball Pool Tournament in Yorkshire at the end of the month where he will face the best players from the UK and Europe.

James, from Orford, is also in the running for the World Pool Championships in Paris in November.

It’s a whirlwind leap to fame for the father of two who six months ago had been playing pool in his local pub, The Lord Rodney, when a scout recruiting players for the Cheshire team approached him.

After a county debut he’s been named as Cheshire’s captain and given an international cap by Ireland. He was also invited for trials by the England-team selectors but decided to take up Ireland’s call instead.

‘Playing for Ireland in the Masters means I will lose the opportunity to represent England but it was a tremendous honour to be selected by the Irish team who are giving me the opportunity of going straight into the A team and playing some of the best players around,’ said James.

James has worked for O2 for six years and is a self-confessed sports fanatic.

‘I’m an avid Warrington Wolves supporter and also follow Crewe Alexandra in football. I’ve been playing pool in the Warrington league and also practising at work during my lunch breaks. My grandfather was born in Dublin and I was really proud to be selected by Ireland.

‘I’m really excited and if things go well I’ll be in the running for a world championship spot,’ he added.

O2 colleagues will be cheering on James in the championships, which attracts up to 600 senior and junior players from across the UK, Spain, France and Gibraltar for a nine-day knockout pool festival.

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