The snooker world was thrown into shock this week when it was revealed that Peter Ebdon would be retiring from the sport. The 49-year old star stated that an ongoing chronic neck injury was the reason behind his decision to retire.
Ebdon shot to fame as one of England’s top snooker players when he beat Steve Davis in the 1992 World Championships. Plus with many more remarkable performances such as his World Champion title in 2002, his absence will be felt by many in the sport.
Ebdon’s injury concerns
The former world champion had reportedly been in pain since Christmas, and a recent MRI scan revealed significant damage in Ebdon’s neck. As a result, the snooker star was faced with a tough decision about whether to have an operation to replace two of the vertebrae.
The operation would be very risky, and Ebdon explained that if it went wrong, he could end up being in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Even if the neck operation was a success, there would be a chance that the snooker star would need another operation in a decade’s time.
The fact that Ebdon is avoiding having an operation will mean that he won’t be able to play snooker again, but he is able to walk and talk, and said that the pain had gotten better.
Ebdon’s towering achievements
Peter Ebdon will be best remembered for his World Championship title win over Stephen Hendry in 2002. This thrilling match saw Ebdon beat Hendry 18-17 and he won no less than eight other ranking events in the course of his three-decade snooker career.
Other highlights included appearances in the World Championship finals in 1996 and 2006, along with his epic win at the 2006 UK Championship. Since then, the London-born snooker player struggled with form, with his last triumph at a ranking event coming in the 2012 China Open.
Although he played at last December’s German Masters, a string of cancelled appearances hinted that all was not well. But such was Ebdon’s mastery of snooker that he quickly earned the nickname of The Force, and his expertise continues to be a major source of inspiration for today’s snooker stars.
Many tributes to Peter Ebdon
The snooker world has been quick to offer comforting words to Peter Ebdon after the announcement of his retirement from the sport. The current world champion, Judd Trump, tweeted how he had learned a lot from playing Ebdon in his early career and that the star ‘loved to take on some crazy shots at times which I have a lot of respect for.’
Similarly, the chairman of the World Snooker Tour, Barry Hearn took to Twitter to congratulate Ebdon on his ‘wonderful professional career. Plus with the likes of Alfie Burden, Michael Georgiou, David Grace, Ian Burns and Matthew Selt all expressing their best wishes, it seems that Ebdon’s absence from the green baize will be keenly felt.