Stephen Hendry today hit out over the WPBSA's decision not to award Chris Small any money through its benevolent fund.

The fund was set up in 1983 to help players and their families in the event of "disablement, superannuation, death or otherwise".

Small, the 2002 LG Cup champion, was forced to retire because of the debilitating effects of the disease ankylosing spondalytis.

But, astonishingly, the benevolent fund did not come to his rescue even though, in the 1990s, it paid the mortgage of then WPBSA board member Jim Meadowcroft despite the fact he wasn't suffering from any illness.

Hendry said: "The benevolent fund is supposed to be in place to help snooker players who are in need of assistance.

"If Chris doesn't qualify for help given his sad circumstances, then I don't know who would."

Small, a father of three, cannot now work because of his condition. In 2005, he applied to the benevolent fund for assistance but, six months ago, received a letter informing him he'd been turned down.

He said: "Even before I gave up many players said to me that I deserved three or four years wages to set me up after I stopped playing.

"Any other industry in the world would have done it, but World Snooker's not like that.

"It's annoying, as I was a top player for 10 years. It's not often a snooker player has to retire through ill-health but I knew I wasn't going to get anything as my face doesn't fit with World Snooker."

Questions will now be asked as to why Small was turned down. Inevitably, the WPBSA are making no comment (when do they ever?) but some will wonder if the reason is that the benevolent fund does not have sufficient money to pay out and, if indeed this is the case, where it has gone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


That is disgraceful treament of a respected player on the circuit.

Didn't the players organise a charity night for Chris in the past to raise money?

Surely the question you posed will be asked again at the next AGM. Non?

Thanks, Joe