It’s a view, certainly

When you are in a sport you are tied into it, as you can see from boxers past their prime and golfers going into the senior tour,” (Steve – Interesting-) Davis said, when asked once again about retirement, 13 years ago. “It takes a strange person to give up. It’s a much more natural process to try and fight. I don’t think it’s a clever thing to retire at the top. It’s best to go out screaming.”

8 thoughts on “It’s a view, certainly”

  1. It’s funny what they say about Davis. I never got the hate because as someone who played, he was astonishing. Sure, Higgins could be more entertaining, but Davis’ skill and consistency were at a level that no-one had produced before and only 2 or 3 players have since.

  2. Also, a genuinely nice bloke. I met him once and he couldn’t have been more pleasant company. His obsession with collecting old soul records is a big tick from me as well.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    There is retirement and there is retirement. There is also decline and then there is decline. He played a gentle sport where he could keep going for a long time. It is not as if it placed much demand on his body.

    But Muhammed Ali, as vile a person as he is, is tragic. I wish he had stopped earlier. I could probably think of one or two rugby players who should have stopped earlier. Rugby players don’t get to play out their twilight years except in friendlies or among the Dad’s clubs.

    The one that we have no time or sympathy for are games which are largely psychological. Most golfers have to retire once they get the yips and can’t believe they can hit the ball properly any more. At least some cricket players seem to have done likewise. We have no sympathy for them because we can hardly understand it and may not even notice it. Still Tiger Woods is playing away. What else would he do?

  4. Every time I think of Steve Davis I have an image in my head of his Spitting Image puppet with a telescopic sight on his cue.

  5. I desperately wanted Davis to win the 2005 UK Championship final – I liked his determination to keep clinging on. Watching him lose that one to Ding was gripping TV – he was clearly competitive, just not quite good enough, no matter how much you willed the balls to drop (to be honest, spent more of the time willing Ding to miss).

    He could have retired circa 2000 when he dropped out of the top 16 and couldn’t always get through the qualifiers for major tournaments. Instead he managed something of a renaissance – he also narrowly lost the 2004 Welsh Open final to Ronnie, and got to the World quarter-finals in 2005.

    Then after his quiet patch, his victory over defending champion Higgins to get to the 2010 World Championship quarter-finals was also great stuff – I hoped this time he could extend his run to the semis or even final, but he couldn’t do it (lost to Neil Robertson). At the age of 52 that was still seriously impressive.

    At least in snooker or golf the players aren’t wrecking their bodies by sticking around, so there’s no guilty pleasure watching your old heroes like there might be in a contact sport. I’m not a golf fan but did anyone other than Stewart Cink really want Tom Watson to lose the 2009 Open playoff?

  6. a genuinely nice bloke
    Not an adjective that could be used of ‘The Hurricane’. A mate of mine nearly got into a fight with a paralytic Higgins when he told him that the two women he was attempting to proposition in a Belfast bar weren’t interested. He was a serious rugby forward, so a straight fight wouldn’t have lasted long, but Higgins had two minders with him – fortunately, they managed to steer him off into the night.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    GlenDorran – “His obsession with collecting old soul records is a big tick from me as well.”

    I wonder what the chances of keeping the collection together once he pops his clogs is? I don’t want to be callous about this but it is a shame we would collect and preserve his papers if he was a pathetic middle ranking politicians. Why not a decent record collection?

    Anyone know anyone at the British Library we could lobby? Is there a better place for them? We have an archive for old films. Because if someone doesn’t, it will be impossible to bring together a collection like that again.

  8. Smfs try the national sound recording archive. Or maybe there is an archive for soul music in one of those universities you hate so much

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