Ian McCulloch (Snooker Player)
Born 1971. McCulloch turned professional in 1992, and after steadily climbing up the rankings for many years, he reached the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time in the 1999 Welsh Open. He also made his debut in the Crucible stages of the 1999 World Championship. He reached two ranking event finals – the 2002 British Open (losing to Paul Hunter) and the 2004 Grand Prix in his home town (losing to Ronnie O’Sullivan).
He beat David Gray to qualify for the 2003 World Championship and went on to reach the quarter-finals in 2004. He went one stage further in 2005, losing 14–17 to Matthew Stevens in the semi-final, beating Graeme Dott, Mark Williams and Alan McManus en route. He was ranked number 16 in the rankings in 2005/2006 season.
His 2005–06 season proved disappointing, with a quarter-final appearance in the Welsh Open the highlight. He failed to qualify for the World Championship, losing to Dave Harold, causing him to drop down the rankings. He made his first appearance as a BBC pundit during the tournament.
An improved 2006–07 campaign included a quarter-final run in the Grand Prix. He qualified for the World Championship, and in the first round he eliminated defending champion Graeme Dott 10–7, but he lost in the second round 8–13 to Anthony Hamilton.
In the 2007 UK Championship, he also knocked out the defending champion, by coming from 0–5 down against Peter Ebdon to beat him 9–8 in a remarkable comeback. He lost to Stephen Maguire 5–9 in the last 16. He missed out on the 2008 World Championship after losing 5–10 to eventual quarter-finalist, Liang Wenbo. McCulloch became a regular pundit for William Hill and could be heard in their shops previewing Snooker tournaments and as a regular in-studio guest on their In-Play Radio service.