DUBBED the voice of Snooker, three-time world champion Robby Foldvari says the game of snooker is one of the best sports in the world.
As a young boy, Mr Foldvari began playing Cue Sports when his father made an ad hoc billiard table in his backyard.
“When I was 11, my dad made me a billiard table and the cat ripped it all up,” he laughed.
“I used to practise six hours a day in the garage... it had a tin roof, it was in 120 degree heat, and then it used to flood, and I didn’t care.”
Mr Foldvari said after doing well in several junior tournaments in Melbourne, his family bought a proper billiards table.
“We had a big four-car garage but there was a big pole in the middle of it. My dad cut the pole out and put this Sydney Harbour Bridge contraption in to hold the roof up so we could put a full-size table in,” he said.
“I played for the local team and the owner of the club made this tour around Australia, I got the last minute call-up.
“We got a pep talk from Ron Barassi and a sport psychologist; that got my interest going.”
After trying his luck in Australian tournaments Mr Foldvari moved overseas, turning professional.
“In 1986 I won the World Professional Billiards Championship. I won the UK Professionals Billiards Championships, the World Billiards Championship and World Match Play,” he said.
The Melbourne man said snooker was growing in popularity in Australia but that people in India recognised him more than Australians.
“We used to play in India a lot; we used to go there four or five times a year,” he said. “We would always be on the front and back pages of the papers. We are all pretty well known in India, not so much here.”
Mr Foldvari is now a commentator and is in Bendigo analysing the Australian Snooker Goldfields Open alongside Gordon Bray and Phil Lynch. He said what he loved most about the game was the tactics. “There is always something happening if you really know the game,” Mr Foldvari said. “There is more happening in snooker than any other sport.”