Sussex snooker star delighted after missing cue is found - but it's after he has pulled out of tournament.
Snooker star Mark Davis has been reunited with the cue he has used for 20 years after being left devastated when it went missing.
The St Leonards-based professional was playing in the BetVictor European Masters in Milton Keynes when his cue disappeared in a car park.
It happened shortly before Davis was due to play his third-round match against three-time world champion Mark Selby on Friday morning, prompting him to withdraw from the tournament.
But Davis received an email from a member of the public late on Friday and the cue has now been returned to him. He wrote on Facebook: "Just to let you know, I have got the cue back now. Just want to say thank you to everyone who shared the message about it and helped to get it returned. Thanks again."
As reported by the World Snooker Tour website, wst.tv, Davis leaned the cue against his car while putting his suitcase into the boot in his hotel car park. He briefly went to the hotel reception to check out, then returned to the car and drove to the tournament venue, assuming his cue was in the boot. It was only when the 48-year-old reached the venue that he realised the cue wasn't there.
Prior to having the cue returned, Davis said: "I rushed back to the hotel, asked in reception and even went to check my room, but I knew what had happened, the cue was gone. Someone must have seen it leaning against the car and nicked it.
"I was ridiculously stupid. I must have been on auto pilot and not paying attention to where I had put it. My head is spinning and I'm absolutely gutted, firstly because my cue is gone and secondly because I've had to withdraw from a tournament, which has hardly ever happened to me in nearly 30 years as a pro, and never for such a daft reason."
Davis has a replica cue at home, but admitted that switching cues is "a very tough thing to do" from a mental point of view. The world number 39 had beaten former World Championship runner-up Nigel Bond 5-4 in round two the previous day. Davis recovered from 2-0 down to lead 4-2, helped by breaks of 88 and 67. Although Bond levelled at 4-4, Davis clinched the decider 73-35 aided by a run of 51.
The two-time six-red world champion saw off Moroccan potter Amine Amiri 5-1 in round one with top breaks of 81 and 62.
Bexhill-based Jimmy Robertson, meanwhile, was edged out 5-4 by Ashley Carty in the opening round of the same event, which he won two years ago. Robertson, who had top breaks of 66 and 60, led 4-3 before Carty levelled with a run of 132 and then took the decider 61-28.
World number 28 Robertson is due to compete in the Championship League on Wednesday (September 30), while Davis is scheduled to be in action on Saturday (October 3).