Taxi driver Craig takes on world snooker champion

Craig McGillivray is looking forward to his Thailand trip. Pic: Neil Hanna

Craig McGillivray is looking forward to his Thailand trip. Pic: Neil Hanna

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Lothian snooker ace Craig MacGillivray is hoping long hours spent working as a taxi driver during the Edinburgh Festival won’t hamper his chances when he faces world champion Stuart Bingham in the group stage of the SangSom 6 Red World Championship.

Central Taxis driver MacGillivray, who qualified earlier this year for the last-48 stage of the televised event, said: “Stuart has done extremely well and I was delighted for him when he won the World Championship. While he has been playing tournaments and will be well prepared, the tournament has come at a bad time for me, with my practice restricted due to working as many hours as I could during the Edinburgh Festival. I know Stuart well from when I was in the pro circuit. He stayed with me about fifteen years ago when the Scottish Open was being played in Aberdeen and I made a 147 against him at the Shandon Club, so hopefully this reunion will bring out the best in me.”

MacGillivray, 43, is joined in the event – which starts in Thailand on Monday – by four other Scottish professionals, with John Higgins, Graeme Dott, Anthony McGill and Stephen Maguire defending the title against many of the world’s top stars. MacGillivray has been drawn in Group E alongside Bingham, Mark Davis (England), Yan Bingtao (China), Soheil Vahedi(Iran) and Noppon Saengkham (Thailand) with the top four in each group going through to the last 32. MacGillivray, who has been sponsored by local company Haggis Hostels for the event, added: “I am really looking forward to it. The last time I was in Thailand was 25 years ago when I qualified for the latter stages of the Asian Open 25 years ago so it will be great to go back”.

The Six Red World Championship takes place in Fashion Island Shopping Mall in Bangkok from September 7-12. The event sees players use six reds instead of the traditional 15.