One of the most decorated players in snooker history has admitted that he could walk away from the sport due to the mental toll it takes on him.
Four-time world champion Mark Selby made the shocking revelation after his Masters defeat to Barry Hawkins.
He took to Twitter to reveal the extent of his issues and detailed a ‘relapse’ that had prevented him from playing his best at Alexandra Palace.
Since then, Selby has been seeking professional help and has participated in a couple of sessions with a specialist.
The ‘Jester from Leicester’ agreed to play in the Snooker Shoot-Out – where he was the losing finalist in 2021 – and the German Masters after consulting with mental health professionals.
Playing in his home city, Selby progressed to the third round of the Shoot-Out, defeating Li Hang and Elliot Slessor before losing out to Robbie Williams.
He seemed more at ease at the German Masters, where he defeated Barry Pinches in the opening round before losing out in a deciding frame to former Masters champion Yan Bingtao.
In love with the game
Despite his issues, Selby has revealed that he is still in love with the game, and while he has decided to play on, he would have no hesitation in walking away from snooker for a period if it helped to improve his mental health.
It is still incredibly rare for sports stars to speak out about their psychological well-being. Sadly, there is still a stigma – particularly among young men – to seek help when such problems arise.
Selby has revealed that he has been somewhat liberated by admitting his off-table concerns and hopes to be a positive role model for others in a similar position.
“I’m not hiding behind the mask anymore, and I’m being myself. Hopefully, I can get myself better, and by speaking out, I can help a lot of other people.”
He told Eurosport.