Snooker star Mark Williams is competing at this year’s Northern Ireland Open with a slipper on due to painful gout in his foot, however this isn’t stopping him from getting his kebab fix.
After defeating Elliot Slessor in his opening round of the tournament 4-3, Williams went on to defeat Jak Jones 4-2 in the second round of matches to set up an exciting last 16 tie against John Higgins.
The 46-year-old’s victories are all the more impressive after being forced to compete in a slipper on his left foot, as the case of gout left it too painful for him to wear a shoe.
After linking the condition to a vegetarian diet he took on two weeks before the pain began, Williams has insisted his veggie diet is out the window and he is now back eating meat, and more specifically kebabs.
The Welshman said: “A couple of weeks before it happened, for no reason I stopped eating meat and went on a vegetarian diet for a couple of weeks – and then I got gout!
“So sod it, I’m going to eat as much meat, chicken and bacon as I want now. I’m back on the kebabs.”
He went on to add that to cope with the pain whilst he competes in the tournament at the Waterfront Hall in the Northern Irish capital, he is on medication.
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Williams added: “I’m feeling much better now. I can almost walk like normal. I’m on these tablets for it now. I have a slipper on my left foot. I cannot get a shoe on it. It’s too painful. I brought it over with me to Northern Ireland.”
The three-time world champion also revealed that he was surprised he was even able to finish his first round victory against Slessor, due to the sheer uncomfort of his left foot.
However he did admit that there may potentially be some positives to his hobbling state during his matches, as Williams feels it adds extra pressure on his opponent.
He commented: “I went to bed on a Monday night, absolutely fine.Woke up the Tuesday morning and was screaming in pain. The first time I could put my foot on the floor was last Saturday night.
“Halfway through my first match I wish I had never come, it was that painful. I cannot get a shoe on it or anything. The other two games, which included a qualifier, it was a miracle I got through them. I played a best of seven frames and it took me four hours!
“I suppose it puts the pressure on your opponent. They see you hobbling along and come under a lot of pressure.”
This is not the first occasion that the world No 10 has found himself in severe pain whilst competing, as he also suffered when competing in the World Grand Prix of February last year.