Snooker: Davis rules out retirement

Six-time world champion Steve Davis
Six-time world champion Steve Davis
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CRUCIBLE legend Steve Davis insists he has no plans to hang up his cue just yet despite slipping to 49 in the world rankings.

The 55-year-old has failed to qualify for the World Championships in Sheffield for the last two years. Nonetheless, Davis, who won the last of his six world crowns in 1989, is set to take part in the qualifiers, which take place at the English Institute of Sport next month.

“I am still playing on the tour to see how long I can last for; it is quite a challenge that I don’t have to beat myself up over,” he told The Star.

“It is not going to make much difference one way or another in the whole scheme of the current game if I carry on competing or retire. It is not at the same level as when Stephen Hendry decided to retire last year when he was still in the top 16. I don’t need to make a decision at the moment. I just play snooker for my own enjoyment.

“I practice to get ready for the events but I’m not slaving over a snooker table six hours a day. I do a couple of hours a day and that’s enough. It depends on what’s happening on the horizon.”

A respected BBC pundit, Davis will be featuring in the up-and-coming Snooker Legends 2013 Exhibition tour. Now in its fourth season and a mainstay of the calendar, the 10-date tour kicks off at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, the home of snooker, on April 11. In a pairs team challenge, which is a new format, Jimmy White and Dennis Taylor will lock horns with Stephen Hendry and Davis in a series of doubles and singles matches, where only one team can win. The event, hosted by John Virgo and referee Michaela Tabb, gets underway at 7pm.

Davis said: “For me, doing the exhibition side is a bit like going back to your roots and having fun at your club. From that perspective, that’s how you start enjoying yourself in the game.

“It’s a celebration of snooker and it is nice that people come along and enjoy it. There are plenty of entertainment forms around these days so it is a great accolade for the game that the public come along to watch us play.

“It is an honour that they have decided to spend the night with you. I never lose sight of that.

“When you look at the pedigree of the players involved, it’s not a bad little line-up. Obviously, none of us are at the cutting edge of the game anymore. In our times, we all had our moments.

“It will be good to go to the Crucible in a more relaxed mode. Usually, I am walking out into the arena with a cue in my hand in trepidation so this will be a little bit of light relief.”

For more information, log on to www.snookerlegends.co.uk or ring Sheffield Theatres on 0114 249 6000.