4 July, 2007
Ronnie O'Sullivan will not be appealing against the decision to fine him almost Ł21,000 for his Maplin UK Championship walk-out last season.
The two-time world champion dramatically conceded his quarter-final match against Stephen Hendry in December after missing a red when 4-1 behind.
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association came down hard on the 31-year-old at a disciplinary hearing, docking him 900 ranking points and Ł4,050 prize money from the tournament in question, as well as imposing a fine of Ł11,750.
He was also ordered to pay Ł5,000 towards the cost of the hearing.
O'Sullivan's management company, 110sport, said at the time they were "disappointed" by the disciplinary panel's decision, but there will be no appeal against the verdict.
Solicitor Leo Martin, who acted on behalf of O'Sullivan said: "Given the outcome of the initial hearing my client instructed me not to appeal the decision of the tribunal.
"Mr O'Sullivan wishes instead to concentrate on his preparations for the forthcoming season."
O'Sullivan will start the new season when he takes part in the 110sport.com Euro-Asia Masters Challenge in Hong Kong next week.
A Disciplinary Hearing took place on Thursday 31 May 2007 before the Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA to establish whether Mr Ronnie O’Sullivan, a member of the Association, was in breach of the Association’s Disciplinary Rules following reports concerning his conduct during the Maplin UK Championship in December.
Mr O’Sullivan attended the hearing.
The Committee found that Mr O’Sullivan’s behaviour constituted a breach of the Association’s Disciplinary Rules.
The Committee ordered that Mr O’Sullivan forfeit the 900 ranking points and £4050 prize money for the quarter-final round in question. The Committee further imposed a fine of £11,750 and ordered Mr O’Sullivan to pay £5000 towards the costs of the hearing.
There will be no further comment on this matter.
Statement of the 110sport:
O'Sullivan's management company, 110sport, said they were "disappointed" by the disciplinary panel's decision.
Solicitor Leo Martin, acting on behalf of O'Sullivan and 110sport said: "We regret the outcome of the tribunal given that certain declarations of a sensitive and personal nature were made by the player and by myself on his behalf, that confidential information relating to his circumstances at the time was also made known to the tribunal, and that the WPBSA themselves have for some time been in possession of medical documentation concerning our clients wellbeing.
"We would have expected the Association to support their member."
Mr Martin added: "We are currently assessing how the tribunal arrived at its decisions and penalties, and we may consider appealing these."
December 15, 2006 1:00 PM
Jesus, Ronnie, what have you gone and done this time? OK, you had a bad first session, you lost it 4-0, but these things happen in snooker. You won the first frame of the next session, were in the lead in the next, when you missed a red and that was it. Four-one down against your greatest rival, Stephen Hendry, and you shook hands and walked off. Not out of the frame or the session, but the tournament. You threw in the towel, and the official result now reads that you lost 9-1.
No wonder the commentators and Hendry were confused. A couple of hours later, Hazel Irvine was having difficulty totting up frames - she admitted she was still bewildered. A baffled Hendry said he'd never seen anything like it and that obviously something wasn't quite right. He explained that he'd visited Ronnie in the dressing room after the match. He'd asked if everything was OK, and Ronnie had simply said he'd had "had enough". Jesus, Ronnie.
Well, he might have had enough, but the punters who'd paid their money for the Maplin UK championship at York, the armchair millions and the BBC certainly hadn't. Angry fans emailed the BBC, saying that it was a disgrace, unfair, and that they felt cheated. No wonder. A few remained loyal - said they were worried about his state of mind, and wished him well.
Unfortunately, when Ronnie does something rash or daft or despairing, it's not only his future he is affecting; it's the future of the game.
For many snooker fans, Ronnie IS the game; and once he is out of a tournament, they feel there is no point in watching any more. When he quits barely one session into the match, they feel, rightly, they have been robbed.
And the BBC? You could see the desperation on Hazel Irvine's and John Parrott's faces as they talked about the fallout from his self-imposed departure - the simplest way the fallout will express itself is in figures. This is a sport struggling for survival - there are fewer and fewer televised tournaments, prize money is falling all the time, and there are not nearly enough charismatic champions. In fact, there is only one - and he is constantly on the verge of doing a kamikaze on the game.
No wonder Irvine and Parrott were beside themselves. Any more of Ronnie's antics, and they could be out of a job. As for me, I was screaming at the TV, in anger and upset - but not quite disbelief.
Because I've seen it, or something approximating to it, so many times before. There was last year at the UK championships against Mark King when he sat for most of the match with a cloth on his face; the time he conceded a frame he was winning; the time he said the game was boring; the times he announced he was quitting - to play pool in America, to try to make it as a golf pro, to lead the quiet life and run the family sex shops.
So what is going on in Ronnie's head?
Yes, it's true he is impetuous and has a low boredom threshold. He is a genius constantly looking to challenge himself in new ways - whether it's running five miles in 27 minutes, reducing his golf handicap or playing entire matches left-handed. When we were working on his autobiography, we'd spend hours in the garden trying to beat our collective kick-ups record. I didn't have his genius.
But that's only part of the story. There is something darker, less tangible, there as well. Ronnie has spent most of his adult life battling depression. We can tell when things aren't right. He doesn't talk the same, doesn't hold himself proudly; his skin is pallid; he looks as if he's not slept for weeks; he looks as if he wants to run away from his body. Thursday was one of those days. And for the first time, he did give into the demons, and do a runner.
There can be few more painful things than being trapped in the dazzle of television cameras where every tiny gesture can be scrutinised by millions - when you want to be wrapped under the sheets, swaddled in darkness. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this incident is that this is the first time he has run away.
Of course, there will be talk about whether he's had it with the game, whether the game's had it with him, whether he can hack it any more. John Parrot said that if the game was making O'Sullivan unhappy, he should pack away his cue and quit. But I don't know anything that would make him happy or happier. As for his ability and form, nothing has changed - it's only a couple of weeks since he mercilessly hammered Jimmy White 7-0 in the final of the premier league.
As for the future, if there is one, let's hope this was a one-off. It is asking a lot for the public to forgive a sportsman, a hero, who runs away from his responsibilities. But Ronnie is special - adored, revered, pitied in equal measure. I think they will forgive him this time. But he'd better not make a habit of it.
Simon Hattenstone is the co-author of Ronnie O'Sullivan's autobiography, Ronnie, published by Orion.
By ANDREW DILLON
December 19, 2006
RONNIE O’SULLIVAN has given the first clue to why he walked out on snooker’s UK Championship.
Rocket Ronnie is still devastated by the death of pal and rival potter Paul Hunter on October 9.
O’Sullivan triggered criticism and confusion in equal measure by surrendering his quarter-final clash with Stephen Hendry at 4-1 down.
It over-shadowed the entire tournament, which was won by Peter Ebdon. Unpredictable O’Sullivan dismissed the incident as a ‘bad day at the office’.
But he also admits he is still coming to terms with the loss of popular Hunter, who died of cancer five days short of his 28th birthday.
O’Sullivan, 31, said: “Paul is so sorely missed. It’s such a shame, I’m so sad. I still think about him a lot.
“He was not just a great snooker player — he was exceptionally good.
“As a person he never seemed down, was always happy and appreciated everything he had.
“Paul thought he was such a lucky person. To me that shows the mark of the man.
“He was good to hang about with, there was such energy about him.
“That was a natural instinct for him, whereas I’m a bit of a pessimist.
“Paul won’t ever be forgotten. His personality will see to that.
“I wasn’t his closest friend, that was Matthew Stevens, but we spent time together when we were away and we’d be solid, in each other’s pocket. We had a right good laugh and we’d do some mad things.”
Ronnie O'Sullivan is set to face disciplinary action if he does not provide a satisfactory explanation for his walkout at the UK Championship.
World Snooker chairman Sir Rodney Walker said the governing body would write to the player seeking answers.
"We have to talk to him and find out the reasons behind it," Walker said. "We will try to secure an explanation.
"In the absence of a satisfactory explanation, it is inevitable there has to be some form of punishment."
O'Sullivan dramatically conceded his quarter-final match against Stephen Hendry on Thursday.
The former world champion gave up the match mid-frame when trailing 1-4 to the Scot and then abruptly left the arena.
"It was immensely disappointing," Walker told BBC Sport. "Ronnie is a star attraction and someone we want to showcase the sport.
"But sadly there is a flaw there which we believe we have to deal with.
"Ronnie either needs help or some sort of counselling because he can't go on letting the sport down.
"We can't allow a player, even of Ronnie's prominence, to behave in the way he did without answering the charge and giving an explanation of his behaviour."
Walker said he understood that O'Sullivan "doesn't identify himself" with the statement issued by his PR company later on Thursday, in which he apologised to Hendry and fans who had paid to come and watch him.
Walker added that the chairman of World Snooker's disciplinary panel would be writing to O'Sullivan inviting him to give an explanation, with a decision over possible disciplinary action taken in the new year.
"The decision may be not to punish him, but to help and provide him with some assistance," Walker added.
"But he cannot continue to perform in this way without some form of punishment."
Walker earlier told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "At some stage I suppose you begin to run out of patience. I doubt whether we've reached that stage yet."
Cross reference match numbers to those on the link above * denotes final session.
Monday December 4
1 – Liu Song x Ryan Day
2 – Barry Pinches x David Gray
3 – Rory McLeod – Stuart Bingham
4 – John Parrott – Mark Selby
5 – Adrian Gunnell x Mark King
6 – Rod Lawler x Anthony Hamilton
7 – Michael Judge x Joe Perry
8 – Mike Dunn x James Wattana
9 – Robert Milkins x Dave Harold
10 – Marco Fu (withdraw) x Gerard Greene
1* - Liu Song x Ryan Day
2* – Barry Pinches x David Gray
3* – Rory McLeod – Stuart Bingham
4* – John Parrott – Mark Selby
5* – Adrian Gunnell x Mark King
Tuesday December 5
11 – Joe Swail x Joe Delaney
12 – Ian McCulloch x Ricky Walden
13 – Alan McManus x Marcus Campbell
14 – Andy Hicks x Jamie Burnett
15 – Nigel Bond x Robin Hull
6* – Rod Lawler x Anthony Hamilton
7* – Michael Judge x Joe Perry
8* – Mike Dunn x James Wattana
9* – Robert Milkins x Dave Harold
10* – Marco Fu (withdraw) x Gerard Greene
11* - Joe Swail x Joe Delaney
12* - Ian McCulloch x Ricky Walden
13* - Alan McManus x Marcus Campbell
14* - Andy Hicks x Jamie Burnett
15* - Nigel Bond x Robin Hull
Wednesday December 6
16 – Michael Holt x Scott MacKenzie
18 – Matthew Stevens x David Gray
19 – Allister Carter x Stuart Bingham
20 – Peter Ebdon x Mark Selby
23 – Barry Hawkins x Joe Perry
22 – Stephen Lee x Rod Lawler
26 – Mark Williams x Gerard Greene
27 – Stephen Maguire x Joe Swail
28 – Ronnie O’Sullivan x Ricky Walden
30 – Steve Davis x Jamie Burnett
16* - Michael Holt x Scott MacKenzie
18* - Matthew Stevens x David Gray
19* - Allister Carter x Stuart Bingham
20* - Peter Ebdon x Mark Selby
23* - Barry Hawkins x Joe Perry
Thursday December 7
21 – John Higgins x Mark King
29 – Shaun Murphy x Alan McManus
31 – Neil Robertson x Robin Hull
22* - Stephen Lee x Rod Lawler
26* - Mark Williams x Gerard Greene
27* - Stephen Maguire x Joe Swail
28* - Ronnie O’Sullivan x Ricky Walden
30* - Steve Davis x Jamie Burnett
21* - John Higgins x Mark King
29* - Shaun Murphy x Alan McManus
31* - Neil Robertson x Robin Hull
Friday December 8
Saturday December 9
25 – Stephen Hendry x Dave Harold
32 – Graeme Dott x Scott MacKenzie
17 – Ding Junhui x Ryan Day
24 – Ken Doherty x Mike Dunn
Not before 6.30pm
25* - Stephen Hendry x Dave Harold
32* - Graeme Dott x Scott MacKenzie
Sunday December 10
17* - Ding Junhui x Ryan Day
24* - Ken Doherty x Mike Dunn
38 – Stephen Maguire x Ronnie O'Sullivan
40 – Robin Hull x Graeme Dott
Not before 7.30pm
35 – John Higgins x Stephen Lee
34 – Stuart Bingham x Peter Ebdon
Monday December 11
38* - Stephen Maguire x Ronnie O'Sullivan - 3-9
36 – Joe Perry x Ken Doherty
35* - John Higgins x Stephen Lee
40* - Robin Hull x Graeme Dott
Not before 7.00pm
33 – Ding Junhui x Matthew Stevens
34* - Stuart Bingham x Peter Ebdon
Tuesday December 12
37 – Stpehen Hendry x Mark Williams
39 – Alan McManus x Steve Davis
33* - Ding Junhui x Matthew Stevens
36* - Joe Perry x Ken Doherty
Not before 7.00pm
37* - Stephen Hendry x Mark Williams
39* - Alan McManus x Steve Davis
Wednesday December 13
QF1 – Ding Junhui x Peter Ebdon
QF2 – John Higgins x Joe Perry
QF1* - Ding Junhui x Peter Ebdon
QF2* - John Higgins x Joe Perry
Thursday December 14
QF3 – Stephen Hendry x Ronnie O'Sullivan - Ronnie conceded match with score 1-4
QF4 – Steve Davis x Graeme Dott
QF3* - Stephen Hendry x Ronnie O'Sullivan
QF4* - Steve Davis x Graeme Dott
Friday December 15
SF1 – Peter Ebdon x John Higgins
SF1* - Peter Ebdon x John Higgins
Saturday December 16
SF2 – Stephen Hendry x Graeme Dott
SF2* - Stephen Hendry x Graeme Dott
Sunday December 17
Final - Peter Ebdon x Stephen Hendry 10-6
14 Dec 2006 18:43:00
Ronnie O'Sullivan issued an apology to his fans after walking out of the Maplin UK Championship.
The Rocket forfeited his best-of-17 quarter-final match against Stephen Hendry at 4-1 down at the York Barbican Centre.
The statement he subsequently issued read: "I wish I could have played a better game today, but I had a bad day in the office.
"Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a perfectionist when it comes to my game, and today, I got so annoyed with myself that I lost my patience and walked away from a game that with hindsight I should have continued.
"I wish I could have given Stephen a better game, and I’m sorry I didn’t stick around to sharpen him up for his semi-final.
"I’m also really sorry to let down the fans who came to see me play - it wasn’t my intention to disappoint them, and for that I am truly apologetic. At this present moment in time I am feeling disappointed with myself and am hurt and numb, but I am a fighter and I will be back on my feet fighting stronger and harder than ever very soon."
14 Dec 2006 16:35:00
Ronnie O'Sullivan conceded his match against Stephen Hendry at 4-1 behind in the Maplin UK Championship.
Five-times UK Champion Hendry is credited with a 9-1 victory and goes through to the semi-finals to play Graeme Dott or Steve Davis.
The Scot took the opening frame with a run of 52 and stole the second from 66-0 down with a brilliant 72 clearance. Further runs of 102 and 67 put him 4-0 up at the interval.
O’Sullivan won the next, but when he missed a tricky red on a break of 24 in frame six, he offered his hand to Hendry and referee Jan Verhaas then exited the arena.
"It was bizarre," said Hendry. "He came into my dressing room and wished me good luck for the rest of the tournament. I asked him if there was anything wrong and he said no.
"There is no animosity between Ronnie and I any more and I didn’t sense anything backstage.
"I’m not going to lie and say I’m not happy to be through to the semi-finals. But I would rather have won the match properly. I was enjoying it. It was going to be a tough match and anything can happen in these long games, especially as Ronnie is the best player I’ve ever played.
"Even at 4-0 I was just aiming to have a lead after the first session. It feels like a hollow victory. In a way I would rather have played really well and lost."
As a goodwill gesture, World Snooker is offering tickets for tomorrow’s semi-final between John Higgins and Joe Perry to those who paid see the Hendry-O’Sullivan match.
Graeme Dott, the 888.com World Champion, seized the early advantage in his quarter-final match with six-times UK Champion Steve Davis.
It was the runner-up last year Davis who took the first frame but Dott responded by taking the next with a 60 break.
The Scot then edged in front before a run of 50 from the Nugget restored parity and they remained level at 3-3. The Larkhall cueman then took the last two frames with runs of 83 and 65 to lead 5-3 at the interval.
The match will play to a finish this evening, with play starting at 7pm.
12 Dec 2006 22:18:00
Stephen Hendry saw off Mark Williams at the Maplin UK Championship and eagerly awaits his clash with Ronnie O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals.
The five-times UK Champion scored a 9-6 success over pal Williams at the Barbican Centre to reach the last eight of snooker’s second biggest ranking event.
The world No 1 led 6-2 overnight but soon saw his lead cut to just one frame. Williams took the first today with breaks of 40 and 38 then stole the next from 66-0 down, finishing with a brilliant black along the top cushion.
A 52 helped the Welshman make it 6-5. But Hendry responded by winning the next with a 43 and closed in on victory with a 92 for 8-5.
Williams won frame 14 on the blue to keep his hopes alive but when he missed the third-last red in the 15th at 21-53, his chance had gone.
"Mark wasn’t in form yesterday but he played some great stuff tonight and potted some incredible long balls," said 37-year-old Hendry, who has not won a ranking title since the Malta Cup early in 2005. "The frame I won to go 7-5 was a big one.
"If you have aspirations of winning this tournament, you have to beat the best in the world. Ronnie is the best, he’s fantastic to watch and he will be favourite.
"I can’t wait for the match. If I hit form I’ve got a great chance and it’s an opportunity for me to test my game. Slowly but surely my form is coming back."
The only player to have won more UK titles than Hendry, Steve Davis, is also through to the quarters.
The Nugget, six times a winner, got the better of a marathon tussle against Alan McManus, winning 9-7 at nearly half past midnight.
Tied at 4-4 overnight, last year's runner-up Davis pulled 8-5 ahead with a top break of 77. McManus battled back to 8-7 before Davis crawled over the finishing line after his opponent went in-off the blue at the end of the 46-minute 16th frame.
"I'm still very competitive and I want to do well here," said the 49-year-old. "It's been in the back of my mind that a good run here will boost my chances of staying in the top 16."
11 Dec 2006
Ronnie O'Sullivan became the first player into the quarter-finals of the Maplin UK Championship with a comprehensive win over Stephen Maguire.
The Rocket took the four frames he needed today to complete a 9-3 success.
Breaks of 82, 66, 100 and 110 allowed the Chigwell cueman to race through within an hour at the York Barbican Centre, setting up a meeting with Stephen Hendry or Mark Williams.
UK Champion in 1993, 1997 and 2001, O'Sullivan has been made hot favourite by bookmakers to collect a fourth crown and will be hard to stop if he continues his outstanding level of break-building.
"Stephen made a few mistakes and that gave me the chances to score," said the 31-year-old. "That's not the way I want to do it, I prefer to create my own chances. But it's a good win for me."
O'Sullivan was full of praise for his opponent, who won this tournament two years ago.
"He's got a better all round game than me," added the world No 3. "He puts pressure on you with his tactical game and he scores well, he's a fantastic player.
"When he beat me here and in the British Open a couple of years ago, I couldn't see anyone beating him. He was better than the other young players coming through, although Ding has now taken over from him.
"But I'm sure he will win big tournaments again before long."
Despite his own form, O'Sullivan is taking nothing for granted as he looks to the week ahead. "One day your opponent is off form but the next one you play might be flying," he said.
"There are no easy runs these days, the younger players are such good potters and they can crack them in from anywhere."
8 December 2006
Ronnie O’Sullivan feels he is losing the killer instinct that has made him snooker’s most feared opponent.
‘The Rocket’ confessed, after edging into the third round of the Maplin UK Championship in York with a 9-8 victory against Ricky Walden, that he would have been just as happy to have lost.
In acknowledging that world number 36 Walden had deserved to beat him, O’Sullivan made the claim - not for the first time - that winning snooker matches is far from being his top priority.
He would probably have been beaten 9-7 if Walden had not lost position on a break of 52 due to an unpredictable bounce off a cushion which drew sympathy from the former world number one.
“It was a very good match all the way through and Ricky deserved to win,” said the 31-year-old from Essex. “I’m just disappointed for Ricky that a table reacting the way you don’t expect it to has cost him the match.
“I’m not sitting here thinking ‘yeah, yeah, I’m in the next round’. I would have been just as pleased to lose the match and see him go through.
“I want to win but it doesn’t hurt me if I lose. That’s not a good thing to be honest. I’m not proud of it. It’s a no-win situation really.
“Maybe I’m losing that competitive instinct to want to win matches. Everyone around me says ‘you’ve got to win this, you’ve got to win that’ but I’m like ‘chill out, man’. I’m happy with everything in my life and snooker is just a game.
“I’m just happy to be around. Life is good at the moment. I want to win snooker matches but if I had lost to Ricky I wouldn’t have been too disappointed because he’s a good lad and you have to wish your opponents well.”
But it was O’Sullivan who progressed and in the last 16 he will meet 2004 champion Stephen Maguire, another player to have come through a final-frame showdown as he edged out Joe Swail.
Mark Williams is back in action after having to withdraw from the last ranking tournament, the Royal London Watches Grand Prix in Aberdeen, due to a wrist injury.
The Welshman had to battle to advance 9-7 against Gerard Greene and will meet the winner of Saturday’s match between world number one Stephen Hendry and Dave Harold.
“My wrist isn’t 100% but it’s okay because I haven’t been lifting anything in the gym with it,” said the 31-year-old Cardiff-based player.
“I thought I’d just give it the best chance to recover to give me the best chance of doing well. It means I’ve put on about a stone in weight!”
Steve Davis, last year’s runner-up, moved through with a comfortable 9-5 success over Jamie Burnett, while Stephen Lee ground out a 9-6 win against Rod Lawler.
But former world champion Shaun Murphy bowed out 9-3 to Alan McManus, who will be the next man to face Davis in a match sure to appeal to those intrigued by safety play.
07 Dec 2006 19:14:00
Stephen Maguire overcame a bout of the jitters to book a last 16 showdown with Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Maplin UK Championship.
The Glaswegian battler, who became a father for the first time last week, has avoided sleepless nights thus far, focused on success in York while his fiancé Sharon looks after the couple’s one-week old son, Finn, at home in Milton.
But the 2004 UK winner saw his nerves tested to the limit by Belfast’s Joe Swail, before he eventually prevailed, 9-8 winner after a thrilling last-frame decider at the Barbican Centre in the pair’s second round showdown.
“I led all the way apart from the first frame, but he was never in front. So I’ve led all the way and he kept coming back and back. A couple of times I had him in real trouble, but he just kept potting them or producing a great safety and getting back in.
“I just couldn’t find a way of getting rid of him. I’m just over the moon to have won”, a relieved Maguire admitted.
Maguire can’t wait to now play Ronnie in the next round, for the Milton cueman beat the ‘Rocket’ two years ago, 9-6 in the last 32 stage when he went on win the prestigious UK title.
“Ronnie can absolutely annihilate you, but I sent him packing two years ago, so I hopefully I can play well again,” added the 2004 European Open champion, who pocketed breaks of 83, 58, 52, 82, 86, 107 and 67 to progress.
“All I wanted was just once chance to see if I could do it (win the last frame). I’ve made a 67, so I’m ecstatic.
“It’s the kind of game I’ve been losing these last 18 months, so it feels good to actually win a match where both players have played well for a change.
A misfiring Ronnie O’Sullivan scraped into the last 16 of the Maplin UK Championship having been taken the distance by qualifier Ricky Walden.
The three-time UK champion edged a nerve-racking 16th frame by just two points, before he re-ignited his title-charge with a 108 break to seal victory, 9-8.
"I’m just delighted to have got through," admitted a relieved O’Sullivan. "He deserved to win that match.
The Rocket had further match breaks of 107, 50, 59, 74, 64 and 125, but having led 7-4; saw Walden battle 8-7 ahead with breaks of 102, 93, 85 and a 79.
Meanwhile, Glaswegian Jamie Burnett could not repeat his first-round heroics. The Hamilton potter was beaten 9-5 by last year’s runner-up Steve Davis, a six-time winner of the UK crown.
Previous winner in 1999 and 2002, Mark Williams edged past Gerard Greene 9-7 and Stephen Lee came through a tough tussle against Rod Lawler 9-6.
01 Dec 2006
World Snooker is delighted to announce that Maplin Electronics will sponsor one of the sport's major tournaments, the UK Championship, for the next three years.
The deal, brokered by sports marketing giant IMG, brings another major new business sector to the game of snooker. IMG has been retained by World Snooker to sell the commercial rights of their events - UK Championship, the 888.com World Championship, the SAGA Insurance Masters and the Royal London Watches Grand Prix. This latest deal completes the portfolio of events that receive extensive BBC television coverage.
This year’s Maplin UK Championship, runs from December 4 to 17 at the Barbican Centre York and features the top 32 players in the world rankings and 16 qualifiers.
Defending champion Ding Junhui, world No 1 Stephen Hendry, 888.com World Champion Graeme Dott, Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Ken Doherty, Shaun Murphy and six-times winner Steve Davis will all be battling it out for the title.
Maplin Electronics has 114 stores nationwide and offers over 12,000 products covering a broad range of categories; from everyday electrical items through to specialist electronic components and equipment.
Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of World Snooker, said: "We are very pleased to welcome Maplin Electronics on board. This emphasises our determination to attract diverse business sectors to our sport.
"We have now achieved our stated aim of attracting a headline sponsor for each of our four major BBC events."
David O’Reilly, marketing director of Maplin, said: “This is a unique opportunity to increase our brand profile to a wider audience using one of sport’s most successful and established competitions.”
28 Nov 2006
The Press, the leading regional newspaper in the York area, has been made the official media partner of the UK Championship.
The Press has a daily circulation of almost 36,000 in York and the surrounding area with a readership of over 97,000.
World Snooker Press Officer Ivan Hirschowitz said: "The Press has always been extremely supportive of snooker since we moved the UK Championship to York in 2001 and we have now cemented that support by making the newspaper the offical media partner.
"We look forward to a well-supported tournament and our agreement with the Press is vital to building the profile of the event."
The UK Championship runs from December 4 to 17 at the Barbican Centre in York. For ticket details call 0870 4000 670.
Below is the match schedule for the UK Championship qualifiers at Pontin's, Prestatyn.
Cross reference match numbers to those on the drawsheet
All matches are best of 17 frames. * denotes final session
Tuesday, November 14
Wednesday November 15
Thursday November 16
Friday November 17
Saturday November 18
Sunday November 19