OLIVER LINES booked a place in the last 16 of the Betway UK Snooker Championship and then declared: 'I think I could win this!'

A relative unknown at the start of the tournament, Lines and his father Peter - who hail from nearby Leeds - have captured the imagination of the snookering public over the last eight days at York Barbican.

Both have hit the headlines after knocking out two of the game's biggest stars Neil Robertson and Judd Trump, respectively, and although Peter's third round exit against Liam Highfield shattered any dreams of a semi-final 'family showdown', Oliver is now determined to go all the way.

Oozing confidence during his 6-0 victory against Jimmy Robertson, he is now preparing to play former Grand Prix champion Marco Fu on Wednesday night for a place in the quarterfinals.

"I think I could win it. I feel I am playing well enough to win it," he insisted. "If I played like that every game, I would be a lot higher in the rankings than 50.

"I just needed a big win on TV for my own mind - so that I could start believing I could do it on the big stages. Beating Judd has given me that confidence."

Lines, 21, revealed that Trump had sent text messages urging him onto victory.

"He messaged me saying 'you had better not lose this game' - and, if I did, there was going to be a fine because we are from the same management! It was good to get a big win but, if you lose in the next round, it doesn't mean anything."

With four breaks over 50, Lines impressed with his scoring game against number 36 seed Robertson who described his own performance as 'awful'.

Father Peter looked on from the sidelines and the victory took his winnings from the tournament to £15,000.

"I have not really thought about the money yet - but it's a nice bonus just before Christmas," he said. "I have had a few texts from my sisters saying 'what are you getting me?' They want everything!

"I will definitely be treating my Dad to something special and I also want to treat my stepmum who is always supporting me and sorts out my tournament entries."

"I was hoping Dad would win on Monday so we could carry on together into the last 16," he added. "I am proud of what I have done and very proud of what my Dad has done."

The Lines are the first father-and-son pairing to reach the last 32 of a ranking event since Geoff and Neil Foulds achieved the same feat 30 years ago.

Welshman Matthew Stevens set up a last 16 clash with Ronnie O'Sullivan courtesy of 6-2 win against Joe Perry.

Meanwhile, Barry Hearn, the chairman of World Snooker, hit back today at O'Sullivan's description of snooker as the 'car-boot sale' of sport.

O'Sullivan, who plays his last 16 game on Wednesday afternoon, says snooker has 'lost respect' among other sports.

He branded BBC Sports Personality of the Year's coverage of snooker an 'insult', bemoaned the lack of 'beauty' in attendance at tournaments, called for a more corporate image, and questioned the amount of prize money on offer.

But Hearn said: "We would all like to be playing for a million pound prize money every week. The fact is you get what you are worth. In terms of prize money, there was a time, maybe five or six years ago, where we spent 10 years in the doldrums, no question about it. The game of snooker has never been in a stronger position. Prize money has trebled in the last five years.

"We must not be disrespectful to those people who are involved - the sponsors, television companies, and the paying fans - to say this is a 'car boot sale' of sport! There are many, many sports that would cut their arm off to be in the position that snooker's in and we're on the upward trend.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I like normal people, working class people, who want to get value for money and be entertained by sportsmen that know their job is to entertain. Ronnie is an entertainer. He should know better than that. The fans are important to any sport. And I feel blessed in snooker to have a lot of them. Over 500 million people watch snooker live on TV in a year!

"It's a very expensive 'car-boot sale'" Hearn said. "Are we falling behind? No. We are catching up. But we have got a long way to go before we are tennis, golf, or Formula One."

Former world champion Shaun Murphy, a 6-5 winner over Dominic Dale, also rubbished O'Sullivan's comments, saying: "Ronnie is a genius. If he talks about snooker and how to play snooker, that's great, and I listen when he talks about snooker. When he talks about how snooker should be run, you should completely turn off. He should stick to playing snooker."

Mark Williams, meanwhile, won a last frame decider against Ricky Walden to reach the last 16 of the tournament for the first time in five years.