Snooker match-fixer Stephen Lee refuses to rule out return despite lengthy ban

October 12, 2022
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

At the end of 2012, Stephen Lee seemed on the brink of something special.

A year where he'd won the Players Tour Championship Finals, a first ranking title for six years, and risen to No 8 in the world had signified a spectacular return to form. But an explosive saga was about to bring his snooker career, and his world, crashing down.

Charges were brought by the WPBSA that related to seven counts of frame and match fixing in 2008 and 2009. Ultimately, the Trowbridge-born star received a 12-year ban from WSA events, running through to his 50th birthday on 12 October 2024, and ordered to pay £40,000 in costs.

READ NOW: Ronnie O'Sullivan almost 'gave in' after being taken to "dark place" by world title win

The widespread assumption is that the disgraced Lee, once bracketed in the 'class of 92' with the likes of Mark Williams and Ronnie O'Sullivan, will never ever return to the pro game. But the man himself has refused to rule out the possibility of a remarkable redemption story.

"I must get asked this weekly, daily, minutely. I would like to say no, but I am still capable of playing. Let’s see what happens in two years. It’s not a no, and not a yes. We can only just see what happens in a couple of years’ time."

Lee, now 48, also implied he had already lined up events to be involved in: "I have some exciting things coming up, and I’m also getting older. My eyes are getting worse, and I never had good eyes to start with. As you get older the determination and the fire goes.”

Should Stephen Lee ever be allowed back in professional snooker? Let us know in the comments section.

Lee, 48, has not ruled out a return to the professional game
Lee, 48, has not ruled out a return to the professional game

It is however, deeply unlikely that the winner of five pro tournaments will be sauntering back into the game at the top level without some serious negotiating beforehand. After appeals, Lee was left owing governing body the WPBSA £125,000 in costs – and not a penny of that has been repaid yet.

Lee has also shown a notable lack of contrition, a factor that is unlikely to work in his favour if he looks to negotiate a deal with snooker bosses over the unpaid debt. There would also be the sizeable task of having to qualify for the main tour either via Qualifying School, the secondary amateur Q Tour, or events such as the WSF Championship.

But there is a further twist in the tale, with Lee’s son Alfie, 19, a promising amateur player touted himself to make the pro tour. However, the conditions of Lee Sr's suspension means he cannot attend any WPBSA-affiliated tournament as a player, coach, media analyst or even as a spectator.


This post appeared first on Daily Star - Snooker.

Dedicated to bringing you the very latest snooker content from a variety of sources around the web. No more hunting around, find everything you need right here.
Copyright © 2023 Snooker Freaks. All rights reserved.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram