One of the greatest snooker players the world has ever seen, Jimmy White, has revealed how he took drugs during his professional career.
The revelations will shake the snooker world and cloud what was a fantastic career for a player nicknamed "The Whirlwind" by his many adoring supporters.
Many followers of snooker, who are of the right age, will have idolised Jimmy White during his exciting, roller-coaster career. Many will have potted every ball with him and agonised over every miss, particularly those that ultimately cost him a world title victory.
Avid snooker fans will have willed The Whirlwind to secure just one world title during his career, a title that his talent most definitely deserved.
Despite winning 23 ranking titles during his career White ultimately failed to capture the top prize in the game. He took part in six World finals in total, losing four to Stephen Hendry and one each to John Parrott and Steve Davis.
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White: Snooker legend
Only Ronnie O’Sullivan and Alex Higgins can rival White as being the most gifted snooker player the game has ever seen.
He was an entertainer in a sport where individuals like him are craved. However, ultimately the clean-living dedicated players of White’s era were the ones who succeeded the most.
Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry were the ultimate professionals and reaped the rewards for their commitment and dedication during their careers. Who knows what White could have achieved in his career if he had not been distracted.
Other snooker players have faced problems
However, he is not alone in his revelations. There have been a number of players from the same era, such as Higgins, who have admitted similar misdemeanours but that does not excuse him, nor should it be an excuse.
Snooker has come a long way from the era when drinking and smoking at the table were common practice and the players during this period were far from ‘professional’ in most instances.
Snooker brings with it fame and fortune and unfortunately players look to replicate the highs from winning matches by looking elsewhere for their kicks. It appears that drug taking, gambling and drinking are the only suitable substitutes.
White has attracted a lot of sympathy over the years for his failure to capture a world title but now supporters may not be as sympathetic as that sympathy is replaced by pity. Pity for a man who had the world at his feet but ultimately failed to deliver due to his own shortcomings.
Drug addition to blame?
Could his drug addiction have led to him failing to capture that elusive world title? If so it is one of the greatest shames in sport. However, others may think that justice has been done.
As ever, there is a reason behind these revelations all of a sudden coming to light. The Whirlwind has a new book out and his admittance of drug taking may help to sell books in the run up to Christmas but it will undoubtedly cast a shadow over his reputation and standing in the game.
It seems to me that many admirers, whether in sport or not, have had their successful careers tarnished in the recent past and, as such, many supporters and admirers have had their trust broken. It sometimes makes you question why we look up to these perceived stars.
White will always be known as a fantastic snooker player, of that there is no doubt, but there is a part of me that feels hurt by his admission. I am sure there are others who feel the same.
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