This week will go down as one of the worst ever lived in the snooker world – but let’s be honest sport problems are not on the priority list for many people right now.
The COVID-19 crisis has reached unprecedented levels in the UK and other parts of the world.
People have been told to stay indoors to help reduce the spread of coronavirus which has so far caused the deaths of thousands of people across the world and it feels like we are only at the start of it all.
The impact of the advice given by the Government has seen businesses impacted in a strong way – this week some of the UK’s leading manufacturing companies have been forced to halt production and pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, theatres and cafes have all been ordered to close – not to mention our very own snooker clubs who do so much to make the game what it is today.
This of course is not new, it has not just blown out of nowhere – China and parts of the Far East have been hit hard by the virus since the end of 2019.
Snooker bosses in January were forced to postpone the China Open – which was due next week – as it was just not safe enough for players to attend.
But it has now spread across the world forcing European counties into lockdown.
The world of sport has been devastated by the health crisis with major tournaments across the world delayed, postponed and even some halted due to the uncertainty of how long the crisis is to last for.
Like every other sport it seems, snooker has taken some mighty blows this week – and it is not just coronavirus setbacks.
Just a week ago (it now feels way longer than that) Judd Trump lifted his world record-breaking sixth ranking event of the season in front of a crowd of absolutely nobody when he beat Kyren Wilson to win the Gibraltar Open.
Sadly that is the last action of professional snooker we will see for some time.
World Snooker Tour began the week by stating this week’s Tour Championship – a tournament which features the season’s best performers – would be behind closed doors.
However just a day later, hours before the tournament was due to start, it then said the tournament would be postponed.
This meant the postponement of the upcoming World Championship was going to be inevitable.
Away from coronavirus, former snooker player and now commentator Willie Thorne sadly announced on Twitter he had been diagnosed with leukaemia.
Thorne is a much loved figure in the snooker world with many enjoying his insight into the game from the commentary box microphone. He was also a successful part of the ‘snooker boom’ in the 1980s and his voice is heard on one of the most famous lines from the Chaz and Dave song ‘Snooker Loopy’.
Fellow players and those involved in the game took to Twitter to say how devastated they were of the news. And we at Snooker Chat wish him the best with his recovery.
Then snooker fans’ worse fears began to ring true when it was announced The Crucible Theatre was suspending all shows until April 4 – though this didn’t affect the World Championship the writing was very much on the wall.
Then on Friday – the writing was on World Snooker Tour’s website and social media channels – the famous 17-day World Championship was postponed.
Snooker bosses say the event is planned for either July or August but at this stage there are no certainties that can happen. But at least it can be seen as hope and a target date for when the sport can return.
It has been a terrible week for snooker which will never be forgotten.
But snooker is not the be all and end all at the moment with millions of people’s health and livelihoods at stake and the world facing major uncertainty.
To all snooker fans reading this – follow the advice given by Government, stay safe and look after each other.
Lets all look forward to the very day when the sport we love is back on our screens and we can all be ‘snooker loopy’ once again.