At 11 years old when Nick was first introduced to the smoky atmosphere of the working men’s snooker clubs in his home town of Gloucester it was never on his mind that he would make a profession from the game that his father and grandfather had introduced him to. Little did he realise that his debonair character and rugged looks would propel him beyond the game of snooker and give him his big break in modelling.
Nick first came to the attention of snooker pundits when he reached the finals of the British U-16’s Championships and also beat a young Steven Hendry in the Junior Pot Black competition that was televised for the huge number of snooker fans striving to spot the talent from the new generation of players. His new found stardom and photogenic style opened the doors to a modelling career when he won the Model of the Year competition with Mizz magazine and a contract with the Z Agency in 1988. His move to London may have come as a bit of a shock to the system; the workload of modelling for book covers, editorials and catwalks which when mixed with his blossoming career in snooker proved too much for a young 21 year old from Gloucester and he moved back home to concentrate on his first love, snooker, and he turned professional in 1992. Over the years he made a good living from the sport and it was unfortunate that a recurring back complaint cut short Nick’s career in 2003 when he was just 36. To his credit he battled his way back and in 2008 won the English over 40’s championships and went on to play for England in the European Seniors. This was also the time that his family started to grow and Nick turned his back on snooker once more to concentrate on raising his 3 children…but snooker drew him back and he went on to win the prestigious Paul Hunter Memorial Trophy in 2016 where he was pitted against many household names and ex-professionals.
Since leaving his full time professional snooker career behind, Nick took on a job coaching young snooker players and also became a teaching assistant in a school for special needs. This work is close to Nick’s heart; he fully understands the requirements of the young people he works with in the school as his first born son has autism. Nick finds that his experience of sport in a high pressure environment has helped him with the virtues of patience and calmness that is required during the stressful times that can sometimes occur when working with the children.
His resurgent modelling career came out of the blue when an old friend, Chris Boulton, asked him to do a shoot for the magazine, Cotswold Life. Nick jumped at the chance and even though it had been over 20 years since his last assignment he fell into the role easily and also fell back in love with modelling.
It was another old friend from his early modelling career, Phil James, who contacted Nick after seeing the Cotswold shoot and asked him to help front the campaign for his new clothing range @andsonsuk and the design company, Shadowplay which has gained success across Europe and has made Nick into a recognisable face. Now approaching 50, Nick has recently been picked up by the Grey modelling agency and even though his modelling career is really taking off, he still has a passion for snooker. As he says himself,
‘…where I am now, hoping to keep modelling, get noticed and keep developing (as a model), but the snooker is still active and winning in London has wetted my appetite for more senior action in next few months.’
So if you happen to stumble across a snooker match on television and see a rugged grey fox staring out of the screen with a wry smile and confident gaze then remember the name Nick Pearce; snooker pro, teacher, father and male model.