He was the Grimsby man once a household name, but his life was turned on its head two years ago.
Following a stroke in 2021, former professional snooker player Mike Hallett, once World number six in the late 80s and early 90s, has been using the Wellness Hub at Grimsby Health & Wellbeing Centre as part of his recovery.
Mike is aiming to get back to fitness to qualify for the World Seniors Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in May next year.
The dream isn’t without challenges, but with the help and support of family, friends and the team at the Centre, Mike is determined to get there.
Two years ago I was at my lowest. I lost my job, a job I loved, and my life was on a downward spiral. It was my daughter who picked me up, she was a complete rock. I was only 64, and I thought, I’m at my third chapter, I’ve still got a lot of life to live. I see this now as my second calling. I said to my daughter this morning: “this isn’t going to beat me!”
After experiencing facial paralysis in the August of 2021, Mike was rushed to the Hyper Acute Stroke Unit at Scunthorpe Hospital. The stroke affected Mike’s speech and left him needing to rebuild strength and coordination on his right-hand side.
Following a referral from his GP in December last year, Mike joined the 12-week Active Forever programme. Having made great progress, this was then extended for a second round of the programme thanks to funding from The O’Flynn Foundation.
The team here have been marvellous! Seeing them today, I’ve realised how much I’ve improved. Between here and the physio targeting my shoulder, I’m hoping to get back to where I was at some time next year. My physique is a little off where I need to be, I was thinking of buying a treadmill, but right now it looks like I’ve bought a bread mill! That’s where the next six months kicks in to get my weight down and go to the next level and get fully fit. I can do the walking; I can’t quite get to the running yet. This has taken me a bit longer than I expected, but softly, softly, catchy monkey.
Despite the recent difficult times, Mike hasn’t lost his sense of humour, Mike joked: “I didn’t win as much as I should have done in the game, but I had to cope with Davis, and then Hendry came along!
“Speaking of which, Hendry has a lot to answer for, no wonder I’m having shoulder issues…I had to carry him for two years in the World doubles championships!”
Mike is currently semi-retired from the sport. To play in the senior championships next May, he’ll first need to qualify. His plan is to do so in Jersey next March – we wish him all the very best!
Photo credit: ST Snooker and Sports, BBC1 production: YouTube
Mike added: “Nobody knows what’s around the corner, we haven’t got a crystal ball, but we can stay positive, and it’s that positivity that you need to come through these situations.
“I’d like to say thanks to all the team at Lincs Inspire for their support, including Julie, Michelle, Stacy, Kieran, Jodie and Ian in the Wellness Hub, Louis at Physio Works, all the nurses, doctors and paramedics who supported me initially, and my daughter who has been there throughout”.
About the Wellness Hub
The power-assisted exercise equipment in the Wellness Hub benefits people with a range of health conditions, including those living with the effects of a stroke, as it can help the return of movement over time.
It can be accessed via our 12-week GP referral programme Active Forever, where we recommend two forms of activity per week. Speak to your GP or health professional for a referral.
For a limited time, fully-funded places are available for eligible residents in North East Lincolnshire thanks to Government funding.
The Stroke Association support people to rebuild their lives after a stroke. For more information, contact NorthEast.Lincs@stroke.org.uk or call (01472) 898798.