Mark Allen has had a turbulent career, with the snooker star finding himself bankrupt during a court battle over child maintenance.
The 36-year-old from Antrim, Northern Ireland, first hit the headlines with his personal life back in 2008 when he and fellow snooker player Reanne Evans split after having a child together during their three-year relationship. The pair split acrimoniously, with disagreements over child maintenance putting a strain on their working and parental relationship in recent years.
Following the split, Mark 'Pistol' Allen announced he was struggling with depression in 2011 when he spoke to the Irish Mirror. He told the Mirror about his struggles away from the sport, the year after he pocketed more than £100,000. He said: "Some days I wake up and I just can't be bothered, I don't have the motivation to do anything.
"It does get very lonely when you're looking at the four walls of a hotel room for most of the year."
The now-senior snooker player has never shied away from controversy with him speaking openly about his apparent feud with the chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), Barry Hearn. Pistol launched the attack on Hearn following his first-round win at the UK Championship when he slated the chairman for reducing the number of frames from 17 to 11 in the first and second rounds of the tournament despite saying he would not make any changes when appointed the year before.
Allen also swore when asked about Hearn in a press conference and as a result was threatened with a fine for bringing the game into disrepute. Hearn and Allen then met in January 2012 to settle their differences. Allen was later fined £250 for his comments.
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Mark Allen was once again embroiled in more controversy just months after his meeting with Hearn when he alleged his opponent in the first round of the 2012 World Championship 21-year-old Cao Yupeng cheated. He went on a strong rant claiming that "blatant cheating" might be "a bit of a trait for the Chinese players". Allen apologised for his comments and was fined an eye-watering £11,000 and warned he would be suspended from the tour if he breached the rules again in the next six months.
Allen met his wife-to-be Kyla McGuigan in 2011 before they eventually married in May 2013 and then had their daughter, Harleigh, in 2017. In May 2020 they announced that they were separated and in the process of a divorce.
Recently, the greatest bit of controversy came when Allen came head-to-head with the mother of his firstborn, Reanne Evans, over the table and in the courtroom. The pair were matched to play each other in the first round of the British Open tournament last year with the female number one at the time taking Allen to court over an increase in child maintenance after Allen complained about Evans being a distraction while she was working as a pundit for the BBC.
Despite the legal battle with his ex, Allen filed for bankruptcy in May 2021, not long after he announced his split with his wife. The pair finally came face-to-face on August 16 last year as Mark Allen beat ex Reanne Evans in their bitter snooker match after the latter ignored the offer of a pre-match fist bump.
In the lead up to the clash, Allen put his fist out but this was ignored as the crowd roared. Then after it finished, the duo didn't so much as look at each other as Evans left the arena following a dramatic event. The lead-up was dominated by the fallout between the pair. In an interview after the clash, Allen described facing his ex-partner as "awful".
Mark Allen most recently hit the headlines after he announced on Twitter that he was ‘thrown out’ of the Crucible Theatre before he had even played his World Championship match against Scott Donaldson. The Northern Irishman appeared to see the funny side of the ordeal but still apologised to his 80,000 followers.
“Have to retweet this one for my followers as I wasn’t allowed to video the 4 players walk ins this morning myself,” Allen wrote on Twitter. “Got thrown out [laughing emojis] done it nearly every year but someone on a power trip this morning. Sorry.”