Troubled Mark Allen has withdrawn from this month’s Champion of Champions for “personal reasons”.
The 35-year-old from Antrim was due to defend his title in Bolton at the prestigious tournament for the tour’s event winners.
But world No.9 and former Masters champion Allen has pulled out of the elite field.
Allen said on social media: “Sorry to Matchroom and anyone who was coming to watch me. Hopefully be back next year. One f my favourite events of the year.
“Hope the event is a massive success and good luck to all involved.”
It has been a challenging year for Allen, who has suffered from depression, declared himself bankrupt and been involved in separate legal proceedings over divorce and child support.
There was a huge personal high last month when he won his home Northern Ireland Open in Belfast in front of a packed house at the Waterfront Arena.
But even on that night of triumph Allen cast doubt on his future involvement in the sport.
He admitted that evening: “To win another tournament with all that stuff going on in the background shows where I’m at mentally.
“I’m in a really good place and have good people around me. Winning here and the financial ramifications of that makes no difference to whether I’m going to continue to play or not.
“I really hope I can, it’s the only thing I’m good at. Right now I’m genuinely not sure if I’m going to get any of the prize money I’ve won this week.
“I’m not sure whether I’m going to be able to play in the next tournament the way things are.”
Allen’s withdrawal means that Ding Junhui is confirmed as the 15th player taking part of the 16. And the last spot will go to either the English Open winner or Stuart Bingham.
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