Shaun Murphy planning for life beyond snooker after first round Crucible exit

·3-min read
Shaun Murphy planning for life beyond snooker after first round Crucible exit

Shaun Murphy is looking ahead to life beyond snooker as injuries continue to plague the later stages of his career, writes Ben Parsons.

Murphy was defeated 10-8 by old foe Stephen Maguire in late night Crucible drama on Easter Sunday, becoming the second seed to fall at the World Championship.

Barry Hawkins had earlier been knocked out by 20-year-old qualifier Jackson Page as the young Welshman made a dream debut at the iconic Sheffield theatre.

Scroll to continue with content

2005 champion Murphy had reached the final of last year’s snooker showpiece, but fell at the first hurdle against gutsy Scot Maguire.

The defeat ends a miserable winless season for the Magician, who has been stifled by ongoing neck and back problems.

“I’ve reached the stage of my life where you start having an eye on what to do when I walk away from competing,” Murphy admitted after defeat.

“I’m in the last third of my career and I don’t know how long I’ve got left to be effective at the top end of the game. It won’t be very long if I continue playing like I am at the moment.

“I’m going to be 40 in the summer and it feels like the right time to start looking at what else life has to offer.

“My run to the final here aside, I’m having the worst 24 months of my snooker life so it would be foolish to put all my eggs in the snooker basket. I think it’s prudent to start thinking about life after playing."

He added: “A lot of the things are out of my control with the injuries I’m carrying. There are now certain positions on the table I am unable to take.

“If the object ball is outside of my peripheral vision, I can’t see it properly now because I can’t get my head in position to see the shots.

“My long game has suffered and I’ve lost movement in my neck with the injuries so I can’t physically get in the right place.

“That’s obviously going to have an impact on the career and there’s not a great deal I can do about it.”

Murphy was in the BBC commentary box on both days of his match against Maguire, a decision which sparked debate from fans questioning his preparation for a world title tilt.

But he has brushed off any criticism over his dual-role as player and pundit in Sheffield, and is relishing his role with mic instead of cue in hand.

Murphy added: “I love it and I find myself really lucky and honoured to have been asked to join the BBC team.

“My relationship is such that I’m here as part of their team and playing in the tournament as well.

“I think it enhances my experience of the tournament, not detracts from it. Being a current player makes me a better commentator and studio pundit.

“Had I not been commentating I would have been watching the snooker in my hotel room so the only difference is that people get to hear what I’m thinking.”