UK Championship 2014: Steve Davis 'unable' to call it quits

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport at the Barbican Centre, York
Steve Davis
As well as winning six UK titles, Davis has also lost in the final on four occasions
UK Championship, York Barbican
Dates: 25 November - 7 December
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, Two, Red Button, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 29 November.

Snooker legend Steve Davis insists his love of the game remains so strong he cannot bring himself to retire.

The six-time world champion lost 6-2 to Ricky Walden in the first round of the UK Championship, a tournament he has won on six occasions.

Davis said he had "mentally retired" but his body kept turning up to events, despite his role as a TV pundit.

"My life has been the game and I am tied up in it so much that I can't stop," the 57-year-old told BBC Sport.

"I don't really see the point of retiring. I think I will - a bit like a firework - just peter out.

"I am still enjoying it, it's just with the competitive side I am not the right animal any more."

Davis' UK titles
1980: Beat Alex Higgins 16-61985: Beat Willie Thorne 16-14
1981: Beat Terry Griffiths 16-31986: Beat Neal Foulds 16-7
1984: Beat Alex Higgins 16-8 1987: Beat Jimmy White 16-14

The Romford-born star dominated the sport in the 1980s and has won 28 ranking titles during his career.

Only Stephen Hendry, with 36 ranking titles, has won more.

But Davis, who last reached the UK final in 2005 when he lost to Ding Junhui, said his winning mentality was no longer there.

He added: "When I turn up I am not really thinking like a winning snooker player - like a whipper-snapper - thinking 'I have a great chance of beating a top player like Ricky Walden'.

"I am just sort of turning up. I know that is wrong but I can't help it. When they sent the entry forms [for York], I just signed. Then when I got here I thought, 'why did I sign that?'

"This will be the worst, longest retirement in history. It will go on forever."

UK Championship 2014
Draw and results for the tournament in York

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