October 5, 2010

Smurf: Higgins 'Back Where He Belongs'

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:55 pm

That's what friends are for. Always there for insurance, I mean reassurance.

Shaun Murphy has come out in support of his old chum John Higgins and says he is ‘back where he belongs’ but admits that he faces an uphill battle to convince the public he’s not a cheat.

Recent EPTC winner Smurf said: “Everyone in snooker will welcome him back with open arms. I know him and his family quite well and I’m happy to see him back where he belongs, at the top of the game”.

“As far as the public are concerned, he is going to face an uphill battle because your man in the street reads his paper”. He said without wishing to seem patronising or sexist in any way.

“Not everything you read is true and it is going to take a bit of convincing people that he is innocent as he has been proven.”

Not strictly true that, he did get a ban and a big fine, you don’t get that for being innocent last time I read my paper.

But our Smurf is confident that Higgins will be able to deal with any jeers that are aimed in his direction when he returns to the table.

“The crowd could do whatever they liked,” said Mr Popularity Seeker of the Year Murphy, who was speaking at the launch of Power Snooker earlier today.

“Every time I go to Old Trafford as a supporter, the away side gets booed, regardless of who we play. Pele could walk on and he’d get some stick. It’s up to the player to be professional and wow the crowd with his skills. I’d find it very difficult if I were in John’s situation but he is a three-time world champion and he has won every major tournament there is”. He then had a bite of his prawn sandwich.

“He is one of the best snooker players of all time. He must therefore have immense strength of character and that’s what makes me sure that he will rise to the challenge.”

Shaun is adamant that snooker, and other sports blighted by allegations of cheating, must quickly rid themselves of any suspicion of wrongdoing and has welcomed the anti corruption unit set up by Baz and his henchmen.

“It’s massively important that the game has integrity, without that you are nothing as a sport, as a person, as a family man, or as a bloke walking down the street”. He did not specify whether the bloke walking down the street had a paper or not.

“If you don’t have integrity you are nothing. Sport as a whole is having problems with that. Snooker has had its history, as have other sports. I think sports across the board have to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and make sure they do better.”

I’m not sure a sport can look in the mirror but I think I know what he means. Clearly though Shaun is sticking by his friend and that is admirable of him as he seems a loyal type of chap, John is lucky to have him in his corner.

Perhaps he might be a little optimistic about all the players welcoming our Johnny back with open arms but only time will tell.

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