Chris Small, the 2002 LG Cup champion and one time world no.12, has abandoned his long battle to receive money from the WPBSA benevolent fund.

Chris retired from the professional game three years ago because of a debilitating disease of the spine, ankylosing spondalytis.

Despite this, he has not received a single penny from the benevolent fund - which was set up to help players in this very position.

The full story appears here in tonight's Edinburgh Evening News.

It says the WPBSA wanted him to provide a medical certificate proving his illness, which would have cost him £250 - a not insignificant sum for someone relying on state benefits.

This begs the question: did they think that despite quitting snooker and spending long periods of time in a wheelchair he was somehow putting it on?


Richard said...

Sorry but asking for a medical certificate is a fair request. If they weren't to do this then every tom dick and harry could apply for things. How has Chris Small, who has won a decent amount of prize money in his career, not got £250 to pay for this. Furthermore, if money is so tight, why has Chris just had his fourth child? I'm not sure that World Snooker are so in the wrong on this one.

Dave H said...

Chris is living on state benefits as he is unable to work. If you average out his total career prize money based on the years he was a professional it comes to something like £35-40,000 a year. This is not, by any imagination, a fortune.

He has also submitted ample medical evidence of his condition in the past - and still been turned down.

The benevolent fund once paid the mortgage of a then WPBSA board member.

Is Small a less deserving case than this?

Anonymous said...

I can understand the need for some form of documentation even though he has provided some in the past.
However wpbsa have made his claim extremely difficult from the start and should be ashamed of this fact.
Any fair minded person would say it is quite obvious Chris Small deserves a payout from the benevolent fund.The fact it now looks like he won't get one is an indication of how awful this board is.

Anonymous said...

Yet again the board proves its lack of compassion and ineptitude. I suspect the main reason they are denying Chris fair treatment is because some time ago Snooker Scene highlighted the case and so are refusing to back down out of stubbornness so they dont appear to be proved wrong in the end by Mr Everton. Every other selfish self-centred board has fallen in the past and I expect in the end the same will happen here when the players wake up and take responsibility with their votes.

Ruth said...

Hey Dave,

Can't there be a testimonial for Chris to help him out - or at least raise the £250? He was never a Ronnie O'Sullivan on the table, but a very capable player - and a great hit when he first qualified for the Crucible in the early 1990s. Surely the other Scottish guys, as well as those of us who enjoy the game could throw in for him? I know he's got the kind of character who would be proud about accepting charity, but he's part of our game, and should be looked after. Has he ever tried out as a commentator? I'm sure he would be good, and could earn money that way. That aside, shame on World Snooker for not looking after him.

Anonymous said...

This is just selfishness by World Snooker. If World Snooker had to make an official statement about this it would be something like thid "We are sorry for the story, but we have no money to give to him, we are knocking on death doors".

Why? No other governing body would treat players as bad as this, why snooker?

Richard said...

He's had one testimonial already. His salary works out at £35k - £40k - well imho that's a pretty good salary.

I can only presume he keeps adding to his family to gain more benefits?

JIMO96 said...

What is he doing at the moment to earn the £35 to £40k you state, Richard?

He can't work, can hardly move and is earning nothing. Compare that to the 6 figure earnings he'd be getting as a top 16 member? (and I do not doubt that he would still be a top 16 player were it not for his condition).

I know he doesn't want to waste the £250; and waste is the correct word. because WSA will dig their heels in, or at the very most, offer a paltry sum on production of the certificate. (Hasn't he produced one already, several times?)


Richard said...

Jimo96, okay so that's an average of what he's earnt during his career. I've got a serious illness but manage to work. He's able to have a family so i'm guessing he's not completely imobile, there are jobs you can do from home. I can't believe he can't get £250 together, can you?

Richard said...

Incidently I think he's more than entitled to ask for help from the fund but sometimes you have to give a little too. Why are medical certificates £250 anyway?

JIMO96 said...

I never said he couldn't get it together, I said he didn't want to waste it, which is entirely different.

Dunno why these certificates are so costly, but like I say, I don't think the £250 is the problem, it's the WSA's stance.

I don't think the conception of his latest child will be the first or last by a man with a degenerative spinal condition, regardless of how much "movement" played it's part, lol.

Sorry to hear about your condition, Richard. Hopefully Chris will find as satisfying and rewarding a career as you have.

Anonymous said...

Everyone who questioned the birth of the fourth child should be ashamed.
You make me sick.