Snooker world No44 'had stomach pumped' after confrontation

March 9, 2022
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Robert Milkins faces disciplinary action after ending up in a Turkey hospital following a marathon birthday drinking session that turned ugly.

The player known as ‘The Milkman’ turned 46 on Sunday and arrived at the glitzy red-carpet opening ceremony for the inaugural Turkish Masters in Antalya very much the worse for wear.

The world No44, who has had a dreadful season on the table, became embroiled in an altercation with guests at the VIP bash for players and dignitaries.

And after falling and splitting his chin open in the toilets there was then a heated exchange with WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson.

Milkins was rushed to a nearby hospital where he also had his stomach pumped and was collected and brought back by pal and former European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson.

The incident was highly embarrassing for the snooker authorities on a first visit to a new territory with huge potential.

Robert Milkins waits to play a shot against Neil Robertson during the Betfair World Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 25, 2013. See PA story SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Milkins regrets how the night turned out

And to complete a catastrophic 48 hours personally, Milkins then crashed out of the tournament 5-4 to China’s Ding Junhui yesterday – losing the last four frames after leading 4-1.

Gloucester’s Milkins is known on the circuit for using The Worzels’ ‘I am a cider drinker’ as his walk-on music.

He said: “I drank far too much, and something happened. I genuinely don’t know exactly what and cannot remember details - I was in a state where I didn’t know where I was.

“It was my birthday and I had been drinking for a long time but that is no excuse and I know that. I don’t know why, I did all this when I was in my 20s.

“I don’t remember what happened with the hotel guests or Jason Ferguson – none of it. I can only apologise to any guests I offended that night. I wouldn’t have known who it was.

“And I have apologised to the organisers and the hotel. It is the first time snooker has come to Turkey and my behaviour was totally out of order.

Do you remember a more shameful moment from snooker? Let us know in the comments section.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Ding Junhui of China plays a shot during the Betfred World Snooker Championship Round One match between Ding Junhui of China and Stuart Bingham of England at Crucible Theatre on April 19, 2021 in Sheffield, England. A maximum of 33% of the venue capacity is allowed to open for spectators as part of a Government pilot event. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Ding turned the tide against Milkins

“When I got to the toilet I lost my legs and think I hit my chin on the sink or the ground, cutting it open. I was almost knocked out, and I’m pretty sure I have broken ribs.

“If I had my stomach pumped I don’t remember that either. And Jimmy Robertson, who I was sharing with, brought me back.

“It was touch and go whether or not I would be thrown out of the tournament before I even played my match today. I told them I didn’t really want to be here after what happened.

“I love it here, I have been on holiday here before and I just hope they let me back and didn’t come here looking to upset anyone. I have to move on.

“I can understand why people are embarrassed and concerned and I will have to take whatever punishment I receive. It won’t be happening again, anyway.

Robert Milkins at the table in his match against John Higgins during the Betfred World Championships at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 19, 2015. See PA story SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Milkins says he can't afford a fine in one go

“I don’t care about myself these days, I only play to try and support my kids at the moment. And I have let them down as well, which is the worst and most important bit.

“I really can’t afford a big fine anyway if that’s what I get if you look at what I have earned this season, I’d have to pay it in installments.

“Whatever I say now won’t make it right. Maybe it was karma for me to then lose 5-4 after being 4-1 up against Ding. In the match, I played well to get the big lead.”

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