Ian is an English professional snooker player, best known for his ability to grind opponents down through protracted safety exchanges and disjointed breakbuilding. He has compiled 84 centuries in his career.
He 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 World Championship in 1999.
Like Barry Pinches, he has entered his best form in his early 30s. He has reached two ranking event finals – the 2002 British Open and the 2004 Grand Prix in his home town. He beat David Gray to qualify for the 2003 World Championship in a clash between players who share their names with musicians, and went on to reach the quarter finals in 2004. He went one stage further in 2005, losing 17-14 to Matthew Stevens in the semi-final, beating Mark J Williams 13-12 en route.
Ian reached #16 in the rankings, but was not seeded for the tournaments as Shaun Murphy was the World Championship winner, took precedence over him. His 2005/2006 season proved disappointing, with a quarter-final appearance in the Welsh Open the only highlight, as he failed to qualify for the World Championship, losing to Dave Harold, causing him to drop down the rankings. An improved 2006/2007 campaign included a quarter-final run in the Grand Prix, now held in Aberdeen.
He qualified for the World Championship, and in the first round he eliminated the defending champion Graeme Dott 10-7, but was knocked out of the tournament in the second round 13-8 by Anthony Hamilton. In the 2007 UK Championship he also knocked out the defending champion, by coming from 5-0 down against Peter Ebdon to beat him 9-8 in a remarkable comeback. He lost to Stephen Maguire 9-5 in the last 16. He missed out on the world championship after losing 5-10 to eventual quarter-finalist, Liang Wenbo.