‘I was left for dead by bullies:’ South Yorkshire snooker star Shaun Murphy speaks out on school hell
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The snooker ace, who won the title in 2005 and who is currently looking for second title at The Crucible, has told how he was subjected to relentless abuse while at school in Northamptonshire.
He said: “I lived in a very parochial town and because of what I did, I was in the local papers and on BBC Look East etc.
“So I was singled out for a bit of abuse from the other kids.
“Kids can be really nasty. In the penultimate day of year nine, I was left for dead in the toilets at the school. I was beaten up by a group of lads at the school. I was just left in a pool of my own……whatever.
“The geography teacher took me home in her car that afternoon, she took me to the house and said to my mum and dad, ‘If you know what’s good for your son, don’t ever send him back to this school’.
“Over the next few days we came to the decision that we were never going to go back.”
Later in life, Murphy moved to Rotherham, where he was based when he won the world snooker crown 14 years ago.
He was speaking about his ordeal to BBC Radio Sheffield sports reporter Andy Giddings on the station's Snooker Heaven programme last night,.
The programme featured interviews with various snooker legends and current players discussing the World Championship which is currently taking place in Sheffield.
Murphy also discussed how the memories of being bullied have stayed with him throughout his career.
He said: “I would love to sit here and tell you that when I won the World Championship and other tournaments I didn’t think of those lads, remember those times and didn’t get some satisfaction about the fact that I’d had the last laugh if you like.
“I would love to be big enough to say that didn’t happen but it did happen. I remember them very well and I never forgot them.
“I couldn’t wait to get out of the school system to be completely honest. I was educated at home and I took my GCSEs two or three years early. But for that decision I perhaps wouldn’t be sat here today.”
Harlow born Murphy grew up in Irthlingborough, Northants but moved to Rotherham in 2004. He now lives near Nottingham.
Earlier this week, Murphy earned a record-equalling 10-0 Crucible win over Luo Honghao in the first round.
Murphy's total dominance saw the Chinese qualifier score the fewest points in the venue's 43-year history, the world number 92 managing a tally of only 89 - 102 short of the previous low.
You can listen to BBC Radio Sheffield’s Snooker Heaven programme on BBC Sounds at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p075mm6x