Snooker legend Davis retires

Sheffield, April 18 (IANS) Six times world champion Steve Davis announced here on Sunday his retirement from competitive snooker 38 years after turning professional.

The 58-year-old played his match in a 4-0 defeat to Fergal O’Brien in the first qualifying round of the world championship last week.

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With a fitting send off from the Crucible crowd, Davis was introduced into the famous arena one last time, just before the day’s afternoon session. He was given a long ovation as he waved goodbye, Xinhua news agency reported.

Davis will continue his role as an expert commentator and analyst for BBC Sport.

In fact his playing career effectively ended at the end of the 2013/14 when he dropped off the main tour after a 36-year unbroken run, having turned pro in 1978. Handed a special invitation by World Snooker to play in selected events, he last won a match in the 2015 world qualifiers, beating Jamie Cope 10-9.

This season he decided to enter the world championship in order to give his father Bill the chance to watch him on live streaming one last time. But Bill died at the age of 89 last month, leaving Steve to play in the tournament as a tribute.

Davis, regarded as the sport’s all-time great, was the first true professional as his career got going just as the boom took off in the late 1970s.

Davis dominated throughout the 1980s. He won the world titles six times, the UK Championship six times and the Masters three times.

He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1988, the only snooker player to win the award, and was given an OBE in 2001. He finished his career with a total of 355 century breaks and earned more than 5.5 million pounds in prize money.

“It has been a fantastic. The game will move on to other places but I feel like the grandfather of the sport,” said Davis. “I will still be involved in the coaching and schools project because I think those things are important. I just don’t want to play any more. It’s too hard, just too hard.”

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