TWO York brothers will be appearing on television with their snooker hero during the BBC's coverage of the PowerHouse UK Championship.

Steven and Lee Gregson, from Stockton on the Forest, spent two hours at the Cueball Club in James Street, getting coaching tips from UK defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Their meeting with the snooker star came as a total surprise to the boys, who play regularly at the Cueball Club and at Harrogate's Manhattan Snooker Club.

BBC wanted to film Ronnie doing some coaching with a couple of York lads and Cueball Club owner Gary Penrose suggested the Gregson brothers.

"I was really excited but a bit nervous about meeting him," said 13-year-old Steven. "He is my snooker hero. But he was very nice and we got along well.

"He showed us about stance, bridging with the hand, eye contact and lots of other skills."

Steven and his eight-year-old brother receive coaching regularly from international coach Steve Prest in Harrogate.

BBC are due to show their session with Ronnie sometime between tournament sessions at the UK Championship which on Monday heads into its second week at the Barbican Centre.

Televised coverage began today, with O'Sullivan's match against outsider Adrian Gunnell on the schedule.

Steven, who is practising hard for his England Under-15s competition next month, picked up a trophy this week at the Cueball Club as winner of the junior league, and he also got a prize as winner of a handicap competition. The £50 prize money he got immediately went to buying a new cue.

Duke no more

The Duke of York no longer plays a part in the career of Adrian Gunnell, who was playing UK defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan at the Barbican today.

Gunnell, who knocked out 1991 world and UK champion John Parrott on Tuesday night, used to practice on a table above the Duke of York pub in his home town of Telford, Shropshire.

"I had a table in my manager's pub but he decided to cash in on the World Cup. He moved my table out and put in a big screen," said Gunnell.

"The first thing I knew was when I turned up for practice and there were about 100 football fans cheering on England.

"I've only just taken the Duke of York logo off my waistcoat. It's a pity because I could have been called the 'Duke' this week."

He now practices in Wolverhampton.

Fisher's catch

KELLY Fisher, from Carlisle, plays Belgian Wendy Jans in the PowerHouse UK Ladies Snooker Championship final at York's Barbican Centre next Thursday morning.

Four-times world ladies champion Fisher, who beat Blackpool's Lynette Horsburgh in the ladies final in York last year, will be bidding to win her twelfth consecutive ranking event. Jans is No 7 in the ladies world rankings.

The final starts at 10am and entry to spectators is free.

Schools visits

SNOOKER is on the school curriculum in York next week for parties of lucky pupils.

The PowerHouse UK Championship organisers will be welcoming visitors from several York and North Yorkshire schools.

The visitors will meet some of the star players before the day's play begins and will be given a tour of the Barbican Centre, going behind the scenes to see the set-up.

Fulford Cross School, St Lawrence's CE Primary School, Dringhouses Primary School, Yearsley Bridge Day Centre and parties from other learning centres have all got visits planned.

Updated: 12:51 Saturday, December 07, 2002