2024 World Snooker Championship: Jackson Page Finds Renewed Confidence with Mark Williams' Mentorship Ahead of Crucible Clash

Welsh qualifier, once plagued by self-doubt, credits mentor Mark Williams for resurgence as he faces snooker legend in World Championship showdown.

Shane MacDermott

Last Updated: 2024-04-24

Louis Hobbs

6 minutes read

Jackson Page: From Doubt to Determination

Welsh potter Jackson Page was on the verge of quitting the sport — but now he’s ready to take on the world with the help of hero Mark Williams. 

He locks horns with a player in his own snooker stratosphere as he tries to deny Ronnie O’Sullivan a record eighth World Championship in the first round at the Crucible on Wednesday. 

The talented qualifier, 22, was riddled with self-doubt only a month ago and things got so bad he felt he didn’t have a future in the game. 

But a confidence-boosting run to a maiden ranking semi-final at last month’s World Open, which included scalps of four-time world champions John Higgins and Mark Selby, helped the Ebbw Vale potter rediscover his belief.

Second Crucible Appearance

Ahead of a second Crucible appearance, Page told “I’m 22, I thought I’d be a lot further on by now if I’m honest.

“If I’m totally honest, before China I didn’t think I was good enough at all.

“I was losing games left, right and centre. I was down in the dumps, I was terrible. I thought ‘am I good enough?’

“I had a couple of results in China and got the confidence back. It’s amazing what a week can do.

“Now I feel like I’m on track again. It’s a crazy game and you’ve got to try and never lose the belief.

“There was a little bit of me questioning if I’ve got a future in the game.

"I’m only 22 so it sounds a bit stupid. But you look at the greats and they’re doing it from a young age. Luke Littler’s a joke in darts. That’s just something else.

“I know I’m still relatively young so there’s time. But I want a title now.”


Image credit: WST

A Date with Ronnie O’Sullivan

Practice partner Williams, who has helped nurture Page’s undeniable talent, inflicted O’Sullivan’s only final defeat at the season with a 10-5 drubbing at the Tour Championship earlier this month. 

And Page says he will savour the occasion of playing the greatest player of all-time on the biggest stage of them all.

He added: “I’m going to enjoy it. I’ve had a good couple of weeks.

“I honestly couldn’t care less who I play. You’ve got to beat them all and I’m going there to beat them all.

“You’ve got to enjoy it against Ronnie. Every time you play him you have to enjoy it and if you get a result against him then even better. I’m going to be confident.

"You’ve got Ronnie who’s the greatest. But there’s not much between Mark and Higgins so he’s definitely part of the Class of 92.

“Ronnie’s the exception. Mark’s an insane player, top five or six ever. I’m not saying that because he’s my mate, everyone knows it. The only one who don’t think it is him.

“I like to think I’m a different player now than when I made my debut. So, I like to think I can do a bit of damage there.

“I’ve learned so much off Mark. I have more than one game now. Instead of just being a potter.

“The safety style, my safety’s got better and there’s only one person I’m learning that off.

“I practice my safety, long pots, etc myself. But the vision, you only learn that off the best.

“Mark’s so clever with his shot selection and I like to think it rubs off on me.”

A Strong Welsh Contingent

Page is one of six Welsh potters, including three-time champion Williams, who reached the main stages of this year’s event.

Dominic Dale, 52, is the oldest qualifier since six-time champion Steve Davis way back in 2010.

Ryan Day, Jamie Jones and Jak Jones, who is already through to the second round, make up the Welsh contingent in Sheffield this year.”

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Shane MacDermott
Shane MacDermott Sports Writer

Shane is a respected journalist who has covered a range of sports for a number of years.