World Snooker Championship: Shaun Murphy considered quitting during 'very dark days'

By Steve SutcliffeBBC Sport
Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy meets Kyren Wilson in a repeat of the 2020 Welsh open final which he won 9-1
Betfred World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 17 April-3 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Former world champion Shaun Murphy says he considered quitting snooker after suffering from some "very dark days."

Murphy, 38, faces Kyren Wilson in his first Crucible semi-final since 2015 after a fine victory over Judd Trump.

However, it comes at the end of a poor campaign in which he has reached just one other ranking semi-final.

"There were times that if I'd have had a good paying job to go to I would have quit," Murphy said.

"When the thing that you love the most cuts you, it cuts you the deepest and there have been very dark days in my snooker life in the last few years."

Murphy's struggles on the table have been coupled with those off it. Last July, he suffered personal tragedy with the loss of his best friend and former manager Brandon Parker.

And he has also found it difficult to contend with being separated from his Dublin-based family because of coronavirus restrictions.

The 2005 world champion added: "This year has been tough for everyone. I don't know anyone who is thriving or going from strength to strength in life at the moment.

"We are grateful and thankful our events have carried on but it has come with problems as well. We are all just people.

"I have personally found life on the tour very difficult. Not living on this island has been very complicated and meant a lot of time in isolation away from my family, losing matches and not really knowing what to do with myself.

"There were strong doubts [over a return to form]. On the way home I was saying to myself, 'I think your best days are behind you here. It's time to look at the punditry and have one eye on a different career.'"

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