Full name: James Warren White MBE
Birth date: 2 May 1962
Born in: Tooting, London, England
Nickname: Jimmy “THE WHIRLWIND” White
James Warren White MBE (born 2 May 1962) is an English professional snooker player who has won three seniors World titles. Nicknamed “The Whirlwind” because of his fluid, attacking style of play, White is the 1980 World Amateur Champion, 2009 Six-red World champion, 3 time World Seniors Champion (2010, 2019, 2020), 2019 Seniors 6-Red World Champion and 1984 World Doubles champion with Alex Higgins.
White has won two of snooker’s three majors: the UK Championship (in 1992) and the Masters (in 1984) and a total of ten ranking events. He is currently tenth on the all-time list of ranking event winners. He reached six World Championship finals but never won the event; the closest he came was in 1994 when he lost in a final frame decider against Stephen Hendry. He spent 21 seasons ranked in snooker’s elite top 16. In team events, he won the Nations Cup and the World Cup with England. He is one of a select number of players to have made over 300 century breaks in professional competition. White was also the first left-handed player, and the second player overall, to record a maximum break at the World Championship.
With a host of major titles and achievements, including ten ranking tournaments, White’s overall record ranks him well up the list of snooker’s most successful players. The BBC describes him as a “legend”. A left-hander, he reached the World Professional Championship Final on six occasions (1984, 1990–1994) but failed to win the sport’s most prestigious title since his first attempt in 1981. Nonetheless, his consistency waned in the 2000s and a first-round defeat in the 2006 World Championship saw White drop out of the world’s top 32 player rankings. White’s continued slide down the rankings saw him drop to 65th but he recovered slightly to move up to no. 56 for the 2009–10 season. White is one of only seven players to have completed a maximum break at the Crucible Theatre, doing so in the 1992 World Snooker Championship. He has compiled more than 300-century breaks during his career.
JIMMY WHITE IN THE MEDIA
White had a cameo role as himself (as the World Billiards Champion) in Stephen Chow’s 1990 kung fu and billiards comedy film, Legend of the Dragon.
On the BBC game show Big Break, White was the first player to clear the table with 3 reds remaining in the final part of the challenge (thus winning the top prize for the contestant he was playing for). He was introduced to the studio audience on each appearance with the song “Jimmy Jimmy” by the Undertones. White was also the first (and only) winner of the ITV show Tenball, featuring a mix between pool and snooker.
In the film Jack Said (a prequel to Jack Says) White played the part of Vic Lee, a dodgy snooker club owner, in his first major film role for British cinema.
White appeared in the 9th series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! He finished in third place on 4 December 2009, with Gino D’Acampo the eventual winner.
On September 23, 2019, Jimmy White published an apology to Kirk Stevens on White’s official Facebook page stating that in his autobiography “Second Wind” he misremembered a few stories as occurring with Kirk Stevens that in fact did not. These events were widely broadcast in the media and White wanted to make the apology public to prevent them from being repeated. White further stated that he did not intend his words to be interpreted as meaning that Kirk Stevens introduced him to crack cocaine or that Kirk Stevens ever played WPBSA snooker under the influence of drugs.
White has endorsed four computer games: Jimmy White’s ‘Whirlwind’ Snooker, Jimmy White’s 2: Cueball, Jimmy White’s Cueball World and Pool Paradise. These games have been released for numerous machines, from 8 bits up to second-generation consoles and mobile phones. In June 2007, he was contracted to the online billiard website Play89.
White was portrayed by James Bailey in the BBC film The Rack Pack, which focused on the rivalry between Alex Higgins and Steve Davis in the 1980s.