Jimmy White to ‘ask for wildcard’ despite latest Stephen Hendry setback

Jimmy White insists he has not thought about retirement despite his first round exit in the World Championship qualifiers.

The popular snooker star, loved by thousands across the world, lost out to his old arch rival Stephen Hendry 6-3 on Monday night and later described his performance as “embarrassing”.

The defeat is a major blow for White, as not only does it mean another year of missing out on the World Championship – but now it is a likely prospect he will have to rely on a wildcard if he is to stay on the professional tour next season and beyond.

World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn has offered White a tour wildcard on previous occasions, given his legendary status in the game.

White, who will turn 59 next month, has always insisted he plays on for the love of the game and his belief he can still become world champion.

And White was still hopeful for his future in the sport despite the 6-3 loss to the very player who denied him four times in a World Championship final decades ago.

Jimmy White. Picture by Monique Limbos

Hendry, seven-times world champion, was playing in just his second professional match since coming out of retirement and now stands three more wins away from making what would be a fairy-tale return to the Crucible Theatre as a player.

“I’m not thinking of not playing”, White told snooker presenter Rob Walker.

“I’ve got to go back and have some sort of clue of how bad I played tonight. I’m taking nothing away from Stephen Hendry.

“At the moment I’m just gutted.”

Asked if he would accept another wildcard in the future from Hearn, White said “of course” he would.

He added: “I’ll have to see how the results go (first) and then I give him (Hearn)/World Snooker Tour a call and ask for the wildcard.

“But at the moment I’m just distraught on how bad I played. “

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