Snooker star Mark Williams battling gout and wearing a SLIPPER at Northern Ireland Open – but is still eating kebabs
POORLY Mark Williams is battling gout at the Northern Ireland Open – but kebabs remain on his menu.
The Welshman is wearing a slipper on his left foot at the Belfast event but has been hobbling round the table in agony.
Willo, 46, known for his love of late-night junk food, is taking medication to ensure he can survive the rest of the week at the Waterfront Hall.
World No.8 Williams said: “A couple of weeks before it happened, for no reason I stopped eating meat and went on a vegetarian diet for a couple of weeks – and then I got gout!
“So sod it, I’m going to eat as much meat, chicken and bacon as I want now. I’m back on the kebabs.
“I’m feeling much better now. I can almost walk like normal. I’m on these tablets for it now.
“I have a slipper on my left foot. I cannot get a shoe on it. It’s too painful. I brought it over with me to Northern Ireland.”
No.10 seed Williams beat Jak Jones 4-2 in the second round and now faces old adversary John Higgins in the Last 16.
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It is not the first time he has suffered severe joint pain – he last had it at the World Grand Prix in February 2020.
On the latest incident, the three-time world champion added: “I went to bed on a Monday night, absolutely fine.
“Woke up the Tuesday morning and was screaming in pain. The first time I could put my foot on the floor was last Saturday night.
“Halfway through my first match I wish I had never come, it was that painful. I cannot get a shoe on it or anything.
“The other two games, which included a qualifier, it was a miracle I got through them. I played a best of seven frames and it took me four hours!
“I suppose it puts the pressure on your opponent. They see you hobbling along and come under a lot of pressure.
“When I get back from Belfast, I will see my doctor about whether to take something to prevent it coming back. Hopefully he can give me something.
“It is worrying. It comes on so quick. I could have been in the final of the British Open.
“I could have gone to bed perfect and then woken up with this and cannot play – you just got to go home.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan, who smashed Alfie Burden 4-1 in their first ever clash, had sympathy for his fellow Class of 92.
The Rocket, 45, who faces China’s Yan Bingtao next, said: “He should go home and put his feet up if he is struggling to walk. But he is doing well. He is a solider. A legend of this sport.”
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