Judd Trump reignites bitter feud with “salty” John Virgo over “disappointing” claims

Judd Trump has reignited his bitter feud with John Virgo – labelling the commentary legend “salty” after criticism of the World No.2.

Ex-Big Break host Virgo claimed Trump had a “disappointing” campaign last season, despite winning five ranking events.

“He’s won one [World Championship], he’s won a UK and won a Masters but he’s got to start building on that because he was disappointing, for me, last season,” he said.

It comes after Trump called for a change in the commentary box as part of sweeping alterations he would make to modernise snooker.

The former world champ said in April: “There’s not enough trying out new things in snooker for me at the moment, it’s all the same every season, not enough excitement, not enough different dimensions.



Trump has taken aim at John Virgo
Trump has taken aim at John Virgo

“Change the coverage, the commentators who have been around a long time, change the way the game is spoken about.

“It does frustrate me, not all of them, but when they start going on about things from the 1980s, I just don’t want to hear it.”

And after Virgo’s most recent criticism, he has doubled down on those sentiments – and taken another pop at the 75-year-old ex-pro.

“It all comes back to some of the stuff I said before the World Championship,” said Trump. “A few of the people in and around the game, that are trying to promote it, are turning up and not doing their homework.

“If I win less than five or six tournaments now, it will be classed as a bad season. This year and last year have been very hard with a lot less tournaments with what has happened.

“It is tough, I don’t see how that can be disappointing. It is his opinion, maybe he is a bit salty after what I said at the World Championship.

“Last season I reached seven finals and won five of them. Apart from winning the six events two seasons ago and Stephen Hendry in his prime, that is probably one of the best seasons ever.

“I don’t know how many times players have reached seven finals and won five of them. That obviously wasn’t good enough for John Virgo.

Will Judd Trump win the Northern Ireland Open again this year? Have your say below.



Virgo claimed Trump had endured a "disappointing" season
Virgo claimed Trump had endured a “disappointing” season

“I think we need more people involved in the game that show passion, interest and do their homework about the players. Just people like Alan McManus. If everyone could show the passion he does, then the game would be in a better place.”

Trump returns to the table at the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast on Sunday and is bidding to become just the third player in history to win the same ranking event on four successive occasions.

The 32-year-old has defeated Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final for the last three years, by a scoreline of 9-7 each time.

Only Hendry, who won five Crucible crowns in a row from 1992 to 1996 and Steve Davis who won four UK Opens on the trot between 1984 and 1987 have previously achieved the feat.



Trump has beaten Ronnie O'Sullivan in the last three Northern Ireland Open finals
Trump has beaten Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last three Northern Ireland Open finals

“I know how hard it is to beat Ronnie once,” Trump added. “To do it three times in a row just doesn’t happen. If you are doing that kind of thing, then you are up there with the greats of the game.

“I don’t think any other player has beaten him on that kind of level. It makes winning the event three times in a row even more special.

“The tournament is hard enough to win anyway, but to beat him takes it to the next level.

“If John Higgins and Ronnie O’Sullivan haven’t won the same event three years in a row, it shows how hard it is to do.

“Hopefully I can keep the run going for another year, it has been a very special tournament for me.”



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