The famous Sheffield arena has been no stranger to John Parrott on the tables over the years. But never before has it entertained a pigeon. That was until the second-round match between Yan Bingtao and Mark Selby on Friday afternoon.
The extraordinary incident occurred after the two men had returned from their break to begin the sixth frame during the afternoon session. As Bingtao sat in his chair, a pigeon flew down from above and perched itself on the side of the table.
Bingtao initially jumped back slightly at the shock of seeing the uninvited guest inside the arena. But as he realised what it was, the cheeky pigeon hopped onto the table and perched itself next to the green pocket.
As the crowd laughed amongst themselves, the pigeon took a stroll down the table with match referee Rob Spencer in hot pursuit. The pigeon, who was not seeded for the event, then flew off towards the commentary box area, narrowly missing Selby on its way out of the Crucible.
Former world champion Ken Doherty, working for BBC, couldn't believe his eyes. "We have got a pigeon in the Crucible! Have you ever seen anything like that," he said before singing, "Catch the pigeon!"
What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen at a sporting event? Let us know in the comments section.
Snooker fans on social media shared his astonishment. One person wrote: "A pigeon, I kid you not, has stopped play at the World #Snooker Championship after jumping on to table one at the Crucible (Selby v Bingtao)."
Someone else said: "John Virgo shouting 'Where’s the pigeon going?' is the sporting moment of 2022." A third user joked: "I've seen dogs interrupt football matches, cockerels interrupt rugby matches but never a pigeon on a snooker table!"
"A pigeon just flew in and sat on the crucible snooker table I cannot believe my eyes. He feathered the cue ball," observed another viewer. While another user said: "I’ve had a few G&Ts this afternoon but I know that’s a f***ing pigeon on the snooker table."
Snooker loopy indeed.