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World Snooker Championship: Scandal will always sting, says Higgins

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Scotland's John Higgins lifts the trophy after winning the final at the Betfred.com World Snooker Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield

Scotland's John Higgins lifts the trophy after winning the final at the Betfred.com World Snooker Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield

Anna Gowthorpe

Scotland's John Higgins lifts the trophy after winning the final at the Betfred.com World Snooker Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield

John Higgins accepts he will never be allowed to forget the scandal which threatened to end his career — no matter how many world titles he wins.

The Scot was today flying to Italy for a family wedding after celebrating his fourth Crucible crown.

His 18-15 victory over Judd Trump in the final of the Betfred.com World Championship was described by Higgins as “far and away the biggest and best” of his career.

Now his ambition is to match Stephen Hendry's record of seven world titles.

But the 35-year-old recognises there will always be a section of the snooker community who rail against him.

On the opening day of last year's final in Sheffield, Higgins was accused following a newspaper ‘sting' of agreeing to a frame-fixing deal, and he faced a battle to remain in the game when he was charged with a series of offences by snooker chiefs.

He succeeded in having the most serious charges dropped and served just a six-month ban for minor offences including failing to report a suspicious approach.

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And, after winning the UK Championship, Welsh Open and now the World Championship again, Higgins can reflect on one of the most successful seasons of his life.

But he was reminded of last year during his semi-final against Mark Williams, when a fan stood up and called him a “disgrace”.

“I think that showed that there are always going to be people that think certain things about me,” Higgins said.

“I have to accept that I will have to contend with that for the rest of my life, something I will have to put up with.”


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