UK Championship: Kyren Wilson takes inspiration from son Finley in chase for Triple Crown win

Ronnie O'Sullivan (left) and Kyren Wilson

Betway UK Championship
Venue: York Barbican Dates: 27 November-9 December
Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app from 1 December.

Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has been called many things during his incredible career.

Genius, the greatest, legend, maverick; mainly variations on a deserving theme.

Naturally, there’s been criticism too. But being called a “poo-poo head” has to be a first.

Finley Wilson can get away with it though. He’s only three.

The son of three-time ranking event winner Kyren Wilson was particularly miffed after seeing his dad miss out on a fourth ranking title at the Champion of Champions final in Coventry earlier this month.

“The hardest thing was seeing Finley sob his heart out, he was gutted,” Wilson, 26, told BBC Sport when reflecting on the gut-wrenching 10-9 loss.

“He said to me: “Daddy, who didn’t you win that trophy? That Ronnie O’Sullivan is a poo-poo head’.

“He is already obsessed with trophies. We might have a sporting phenomenon on our hands.”

Finley’s heartache was sealed when O’Sullivan took full advantage of a fortunate couple of breaks to win a final-frame decider after Wilson had fought back from 5-1, 6-3 and 8-5 down to lead 9-8.

World number 11 Wilson potted a black and red at the same time as well as leaving a red over the pocket in a tense frame 19 and 42-year-old O’Sullivan mopped up to take the 33rd ranking title of his career.

Losing to the “most talented player to pick up a cue” bypassed Finley and was little consolation for his father.

“Ronnie is my hero but I am long past that,” Wilson said. “I don’t care who I play. It’s just another opponent and I want to win.”

The Kettering cueman was furious with his form in the first session and his reaction to defeat could hardly have been more different to when he was beaten by Mark Allen in the Masters in January – his first appearance in a ‘Triple Crown’ final.

“The Masters was overwhelming at the time,” he explained reflecting on the tears that flowed after the 10-7 loss to the Northern Irishman. “I was devastated.

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“Emotions ran away with me and I felt a bit silly. I am not here to make up the numbers.”

Despite his eldest son’s anguish and trophy concerns, Wilson has had a “decent season”.

“I feel like my game has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of years,” said Wilson, who has had a new snooker room built at his house. “A lot of it is down to experience.

“My consistency is getting better and better. I have reached the latter stages of most events, won two tournaments [Paul Hunter Classic and Six Reds World Championship], got to the final of the Champion of Champions and reached a semi-final in Shanghai.

“I have a great team behind me and brilliant backing from my family. It’s a great combination and everything feels right.”

Wilson could even see the positives of a first-round defeat in the Northern Ireland Open following a rapid turnaround from his exploits at the Champion of Champions.

“The good thing about losing in Northern Ireland is that I get to spend some time with the family and properly prepare for York,” he added.

“I got to drop Finley off at nursery dressed at Pudsey Bear and thinking that I could have missed seeing that puts it into perspective. These are the important things.”

But after some much-needed home time, the York Barbican is now very much in focus for Wilson.

“It’s a big event, with the BBC cameras and one of the most prestigious,” Wilson said. “I love the Barbican, I love York and it’s great around Christmas.

“I have never really done that well there so would love to put that right.”

Wilson’s opponent in the opening round on Tuesday is Andy Lee, who has never progressed beyond the first round of a ranking event.

He will have young Finley to answer to if he pulls off a shock win.

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