A PLUMBER from Eastleigh - and his wife Dawn - is looking forward to a better night’s sleep after scooping a massive £1,200 jackpot for winning a year-long snooker competition.

John Barton topped the prize money list with £997 at the end of the marathon 102 Roll-Up tournaments at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club.

The 51-year-old, who has seven children and seven grandchildren, plans to spend the 120 brand-new £10 notes on a new bed.

As well as competing in the twice-weekly competitions, he also plays in the Tuesday Scratch League and for Eastleigh Railway Institute C in the social clubs Super League.

“But from now on, I’m just going to play leisurely,” said Barton, who admitted that playing snooker four nights a week before getting up at 5am for his job is taking its toll.

As an example of his commitment, Barton added: “I went to see my mum in the Lake District at Easter.

“I travelled up on the Friday night after a day’s work and I came back on the Sunday to play in the comp in the evening.

“You’ve got to commit yourself if you’re going to go for it.”

Barton, who also won the title in 2014, secured first place before a ball was potted on the final night as his lead was bigger than the £75 on offer to the evening’s winner.

“I could just chill and enjoy the evening,” he said.

Despite the twists and turns over the event, Rich Tickner - who recently missed six comps after breaking his left collarbone in a motorbike accident - Ben Cook and Carlo Cavagnetto, last year’s winner, remained in second, third and fourth respectively.

The only major change was Nick Spender overtaking Nigel Spiers for fifth place after the pair met in the semis.

Spender won an epic encounter 2-1 on the final black which eventually disappeared just before 1am. They were, in effect, playing for £155.

Reflecting on the series, Barton said: “The season started off just as a night out. And then I thought ‘I’m in with a good shout here’.

“Rich breaking his collarbone was very handy.”

He added: “I don’t know why more people don’t play in it. It’s brilliant. But it doesn’t get any easier.”

The total prize money paid out over the year was a whopping £15,816. The top ten money winners share an extra £4,000.

The new competition is now underway, with handicap tournaments starting at 6.30pm on Sundays and 7pm on Thursdays.

Comp No 102: Nick Spender £55, Stu Barter £55, Leon Hill £15.

Top 10: John Barton (Eastleigh) £997 + £1,200, Rich Tickner (Eastleigh) £900 + £800, Ben Cook (Bishopstoke) £897.50 + £600, Carlo Cavagnetto (C/Ford) £889.50 + £400, Nick Spender (Bishopstoke) £827.50 + £300, Nigel Spiers (Romsey) £807 + £200, Stu Barter (Marchwood) £722 + £150, Steve Boterhoek (West End) £714.50 + £150, Nathan Page (C/Ford) £662 + £100, Leon Hill (Southampton) £497 + £100.