Big Interview: Brother Dylan is young pool ace Jordan Crossley’s inspiration
Craig Salmon talks to rising pool star Jordan Crossley and his dad Kevin. The youngster is making a name for himself and is using his late brother Dylan’s memory as an inspiration
Jordan Crossley may well have veered off the straight and narrow after tragedy struck in 2016.
The 21-year-old’s life changed forever when his younger brother and best buddy Dylan was killed after a horrifying hit-and-run road traffic accident while riding his bike.
A popular and talented sportsman, Dylan was aged just 15 when he died following the collision on a country lane in Whitestake.
His brother’s death would have a profound effect on Jordan – especially as it came just a couple of years after he witnessed his father Kevin become seriously hurt also in a road traffic accident.
His dad still bears the consequences of being run over after trying to stop a drink driver getting behind the wheel on Walton Lane.
For a period, the former Shaftesbury House pupil’s life threatened to go off the rails.
But Jordan has found a real meaning to his life by focusing on a sport which his younger sibling excelled in.
As kids growing up, they were known as the ‘pool brothers’ such was their respective abilities with a cue in hand.
Both were considered exciting prospects as youngsters and received county call-ups at junior level.
By his own admission, Jordan admits his younger brother was the better player even though he was not too bad himself.
Although he may not have been quite as talented as Dylan, Jordan is eager to use his brother’s memory as an inspiration to become the best pool player he can be.
Already, he is considered to be one of the finest prospects in the county and his exploits over the past year have resulted in him winning a call-up for England’s Under-23s squad. His dream is to one day make it to the senior England team and turn professional.
That could mean showcasing his talents on the green baize across the world.
“My brother has spurred me on a lot,” said Jordan. “I miss not having him there, not being able to have a practice with him.
“He was actually better than me even though he was younger. We were so close, we couldn’t be separated.
“When he died, it really did affect me.
“I didn’t pick my cue up for months because I just could not cope.
“To be honest, I didn’t do anything.”
In the aftermath of his brother’s death, Jordan’s life looked to have spiralled out of control, but his dad persuaded him to rekindle his love for pool and that has certainly been a saving grace.
“I could have gone off the rails and I did go off the rails for a bit,” he said.
His dad Kevin added: “He went missing for days after Dylan died.
“We didn’t know where he was or where he had gone.
“But it was in the February after Dylan died that we persuaded him to go to the county trials.
“He went and he ended up beating everybody.
“His performances were good enough for him to qualify for Lancashire’s A team, but they decided to put him into the C team to get him back into it and help his motivation levels.
“It was kind of ‘start back at the beginning and work your way back into it’ sort of thing.
“But to say he had not picked a cue up for such a long time, then all of a sudden he goes in for the trials in the February – it looked like he had never stopped.
“Dylan has definitely been an inspiration to him.
“He’s managed to get back in the county team and get selected for England Under-23s squad.”
Jordan revealed he does feel his brother’s presence when he is in the midst of a frame.
“I don’t particularly think about him when I am playing, I just concentrate on potting the balls,” he said.
“But sometimes I will think to myself, ‘Oh my brother helped me out with that shot or he gave me some luck there’.
Jordan – who plays locally for Hendrys Hatters in the Preston and District Pool League – featured for Lancashire’s B team last year, topping their order of merit.
They have qualified for the national finals, which will take place in Rhyl, Wales, later this year.
His short-term goal is to win a place in the county’s A team, although he is well aware that will be a tall order considering the strength in depth of the squad.
Lancashire are particularly strong in the pool stakes, with talent such as Blackpool professional Lee Clough – who plays on the International Pool Tour (IPT) and also represents England – and Preston-based pro Jason Hill.
“My goal is to get in Lancashire A team which would be a massive achievement considering the quality they have,” he said “Long term I want to get back in the England squad and play on the IPT.”
The trials for both the men’s and ladies’ Lancashire pool team take place at the Q’s Sports Lounge, in Lytham Road, Blackpool, FY1 6ES. The ladies’ trials will go ahead on Sunday, February 9, with the men’s scheduled for the following week, Sunday, February 16. Registration is 11 to 11-45am with a noon start. Any player that competes in a league in the Lancashire area is eligible to take part in the trials. The entry fee is £10 and doors open at 10am. Any questions or queries please contact Phil Brierley on Facebook or via his mobile number 07921917852. In his bid to make it as a professional pool player Jordan Crossley is looking for sponsorship. If you can help, please contact [email protected]