A TEENAGE snooker prodigy touted as the next Ronnie O’Sullivan is set to represent his country on the European stage.

William Hurley, 13, from Rayleigh, has been selected to represent England in the European Snooker Championships.

William will fly to Sarajevo, in Bosnia, for the championship next week and will compete in both the under-16 and the under-18 snooker tournaments.

He is being supported in his efforts to score a win for England by Rayleigh’s iconic Pink Toothbrush, who are funding William to go to the resort in Sarajevo from which he will be competing.

William’s dad, Daniel Hurley, said: “We used to pop along to the Rayleigh Lanes Snooker Club, and I showed him the snooker tables and he quickly became obsessed.

“Before that he was playing football from the age of four but since he became obsessed, we have taken him to dozens of junior tournaments.

“William qualified after taking part in the 2023 to 2024 English under 21’s snooker junior tour, made up of five events dotted around the country from September to January 2024.

“There are no other kids playing the game at his level in the area. Where we go, there are not a lot of snooker players in the area.

“It is unusual in Essex. Generally, people are playing football or are on the computer but if you look at Essex history, there are some great snooker players.”

Mr Hurley said the family took steps to find sponsorship for William.

He added: “We approached ten Rayleigh companies, and the Pink Toothbrush came back and said they would support us in this. It would be great to see people following in William’s footsteps.

“It’s on the tip of everyone’s tongues, with younger players becoming pros, like Luke Littler in darts. It takes them a little while longer for them to be noticed.”

William practices at Rayleigh Lanes Sports Bar after school and at weekends.

He plays in local league matches at The Lanes on Mondays and Wednesdays and is currently in a good position in the Cuestars U21 Silver rankings.