Snooker legend Tony Drago bravely opens up on live TV - 'I didn't want to live'

by 24britishtvMay 11, 2024, 2 p.m. 19
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Snooker legend Tony Drago has bravely opened up on his battle with mental health, revealing that he was contemplating suicide just a few months ago.

Drago, 58, became popular in the 1990s, with his lightning speed around the table earning him two titles before retiring from the main tour in 2016. 'The Tornado' suffered a heart failure three years later but is now back fit and beat Stuart Watson 3-1 on Friday at the Crucible to reach the semi-finals of the World Seniors Snooker Championship.

The feat is extra special to Drago, who admitted to Channel 5 in his post-match interview: "If you said to me before I came here that you're going to be in the semi-finals, I would have probably said to go where to sun don't shine.

"Because, you know, I'm telling you, I don't mind saying it in front of television, because it's true. I spoke to Neal [Foulds] a few months ago. I didn't want to live. I wanted to commit suicide with my problems I had, so to be here…"

Two more wins would see the Maltese win his first title World Seniors Tour and take home the top prize of £20,000. "It feels great," Drago, who handed Watson multiple chances to get back in the game, added.

"I'm just a bit disappointed, because I know I'm playing well. But all of a sudden in a best of five, you make a mistake, and it’s game on. It's just, I'm one of those people unfortunately, the performance means more to me than winning.

"It's still a great win, but I shouldn't be going through the way I'm playing. I should be making it easier, because it was all over the place. I was on top, then all of a sudden, if he didn't miss that black, he probably would have won anyway."

Your turn! Who'll win the World Seniors Snooker Championship? Give us your prediction in the comments section

The 58-year-old will now face Igor Figueiredo in the last four after the Brazilian hammered reigning champion Jimmy White 3-0 in his quarter-final clash. Pre-tournament favourite Ken Doherty is on the other side of the draw and the Irishman booked his ticket to the semi-finals by edging Dechawat Poomjaeng 3-2 in a surprisingly tight matchup.

Doherty - who lost the final in 2020 - is set to play Barry Pinches, who triumphed 3-1 over James Wattana. Both semi-final matches are due to take place on Saturday before a best-of-nine frame final on Sunday.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can call Samaritans for free at any time on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email jo@samarita ns.org.

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