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Closer Magazine Winter 2013-14

“I’ve always been a football fan. Derek Dougan, who was a centre forward for Leicester, moved next door to us and became a hero of mine.” In 2005 Willie took on perhaps his biggest challenge since leaving the professional game, agreeing to be a contestant on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, partnering Erin Boag, “It was fabulous. I didn’t realise how much I would miss it until I was voted off. It was a super time.” However don’t expect Willie to be tripping the light fantastic on board Braemar, “I haven’t danced since” he laughed, “I could only do it with Erin because she used to lead me around.” These days Willie is a seasoned cruiser so he’s looking forward to his Canaries cruise in May where he’ll be sharing sporting anecdotes and perhaps a few tales from the dance floor. With the professional snooker tour Willie travelled all around the world, but in hindsight wishes he’d seen more of the places he visited, “I never really did go and see the sights. If I knew then what I know now I’d definitely go out and see them all. Trouble is, you think the touring is going to last forever and you’ll do it next time. Then suddenly it’s the end.” As for his favourite destination, New Zealand came out on top, but Willie would also like to return to Australia, “Sydney and the Gold Coast are super, it’s the most beautiful place in the world”, he said. Willie promises plenty of laughs and stories in his talks on board. With so many years of professional snooker – both on and off the table – to talk about, we know ‘Mr Maximum’ will have plenty to keep guests entertained! O ne Cruise, Three Sporting Legends Joining Willie on board Braemar will be world-class cricketer Matthew Hoggard MBE and rugby legend Neil Back MBE. Matthew Hoggard MBE Matthew Hoggard MBE started his professional cricket career with Yorkshire in 1996; by 2000 he’d received his first call up to the England squad. As one of the historic 2005 Ashes team, Matthew’s orthodox swing bowling was instrumental in England’s series win over the Australians. Since retiring from first class cricket and his position as captain of Leicestershire (in September 2013), Matthew has built a media career, giving expert analysis and insight on cricket in newspapers, radio and TV, along with motivational and after dinner speeches. SPORTS STARS Neil Back MBE In a highly successful career that spanned 15 years of professional rugby, Neil Back MBE was captain of Leicester Tigers, was awarded 66 caps for England, was part of the 2003 World Cup winning side and captained England four times. Neil was also part of the British and Irish Lions tours to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Since 2008 Neil has been a professional Rugby Union coach for Leeds Carnegie, The Rugby Lions and – from 2012 – Edinburgh. He juggles his coaching duties with a career as a pundit, as well as making personal appearances and giving after dinner speeches. Join snooker superstar Willie Thorne, world-class cricketer Matthew Hoggard MBE and rugby legend Neil Back MBE on board Braemar’s ‘Sunshine, Shopping & Spring’ cruise to the Canary Islands and Portugal. Cruise Details: Departs 3rd May 2014 • 10 nights • Braemar • Cruise ID: M1412 Sails from Tenerife (returns Harwich) • Cruise only prices from £599 per person Prices are per person based on two sharing an Inside Twin cabin, subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. To book, or for more information, visit fredolsencruises.com, contact a travel agent or call 0800 0355 226 www.fredolsencruises.com 13


Closer Magazine Winter 2013-14
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