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Fans rally round John Higgins in wake of bribe claims

Fans of World champion John Higgins have rallied round the star in the wake of allegations he had been caught on camera agreeing to fix a match.

Many audience members at the World Championship final between Neil Robertson and Graeme Dott spoke of their affection for the provisional world number one.

Speaking outside the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, Steve Stenhouse, from Eastbourne, said he would be shocked if the allegations, denied by Higgins, were correct.

He said: "I'm disappointed if it's true.

"We haven't seen the full story yet but I would be very surprised if it's true.

"He's a family man and got more money than he needs so why would he bother?"

When asked if Higgins had his support at this time, he answered: "Definitely yes - my full support."

Peter Broad, retired and from Cornwall, said: "He's too straight.

"John Higgins would never do that; he would never do a fix.

"He's world number one - he would be stripped of that, he's got far too much to lose.

Another fan, who preferred not to be named, said he was certain the allegations would turn out be false.

He said: "I just don't believe it.

"There will be more to come out, as there always is with things like this, and it'll show it's not true."

When asked if he thought that the claims would cast a shadow over the sport, he said: "Not at all. These things blow over and once we've heard the full story it'll all be forgotten."

Elliot Appleyard, from Sheffield, said that if the allegations were true it would be an act of "silliness" on Higgins's part.

"I would imagine he's been pressured into it if it's right," he said.

"If he has done it you can't really blame him.

"He doesn't need the money so he must have other motives.

"It's just silliness."

Belfast Telegraph