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Williams: Why I'll never retire from snooker

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Mark Williams.

Image credit: Eurosport

ByEurosport
18/05/2020 at 09:30 | Updated 18/05/2020 at 10:30

Mark Williams has revealed the coronavirus lockdown has made him abandon any plans to retire from snooker – and insists he'll play for as long as he can.

The three-times world champion - who conquered the Crucible in 2000, 2003 and 2018 - admits the global pandemic has forced him to re-evaluate his future plans in the sport after confessing that he was struggling to motivate himself to practice.

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Williams told Eurosport at the English Open in October that he was thinking of ending his golden 28-year career after this year's World Championship in May, an event that has been pushed back until a possible July 31 start in Sheffield depending on UK government health advice.

"I’m quite close to be honest, I’ll see what happens at the end of the Worlds and re-evaluate," said the world number three in October. "I’ll see (about retirement at the end of the season), I wouldn’t have thought so, but I’ll see. I’m not saying I’m going to, but it’s something I’ll think about."

Mark Williams: I am struggling for motivation

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The Welshman admits taking time out in the house has inspired him to continue playing at whatever level he can compete rather than hang up his cue for good.

"It's funny, I was thinking about it the other day," said Williams on Instagram. "And after all this is going on for the last few months which is just frightening awful, I don't think I'll ever retire now.

I think I'll just keep playing and playing until I eventually drop off the tour. I think I'll even carry onto the seniors tour after that.

"I just don't think I can stay in the house, and do nothing all day. I don't think I'm ever going to retire now. Even how bad I get. If I drop off the tour, I'll go on the seniors.

"I don't think if I drop off the tour, I'll ever try to get back on. If there is still a seniors tour going, I'll play that as well."

Williams' comments will delight fans of the sport. He is one of the greatest and most popular snooker players of all time.

At the age of 43, Williams was the second oldest champion at the Crucible in 2018 behind his compatriot Ray Reardon, who lifted the last of his six world titles aged 45 in 1978.

Amid some odd happenings, Williams won the World Seniors Championship when they dropped the age limit to over 40 in 2015 before winning the World Championship three years later.

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