NEW champion of the world John Higgins has admitted for the first time that he will never be able to shake off the frame-throwing scandal which threatened to end his career.
Higgins claimed a famous fourth Crucible crown on Monday night with a battling 18-15 victory over snooker’s rising star Judd Trump at the Betfred.com World Championship.
But even though Higgins captured the imagination with his courageous comeback to pocket the £250,000 first prize, the Scot still has his doubtors in the game.
“I have to accept that I will have to contend with that for the rest of my life, it’s something I will have to put up with,” said Higgins.
“During my match on Saturday night against Mark Williams a fan shouted out [and had to be ejected]. That showed that there are always going to be people that think certain things about me.”
Higgins’ return from a six-month ban having been found guilty of bringing the sport into disrepute has been nothing short of staggering.
Since his return the 35-year-old has won an impressive six tournaments, including his Crucible triumph, and earnt himself nearly half a million pounds in prize money.
Higgins broke down in tears after winning this year’s Crucible crown and revealed the win was for his dad and the rest of his supportive family.
“There was a point at which if my dad had been in the forefront of my mind, I probably would have cracked up and not got through it,” revealed Higgins.
“The BBC did a little montage when I won the Welsh Open, and there was a part where my mum and dad were kissing, right by the side where I was sitting for my matches.
“Normally I have been sitting on the other side at the Crucible, and I found myself looking at that spot, probably the last picture of him here.
“Of course he inspries me because he’s made me what I am today. He was an inspiration, but this one is also for the rest of my family because they have been right behind me, it has been a tough year.
“I have certainly found out who my friends are - and [my wife] Denise has been my rock, an amazing woman who has kept the family together.”