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Last Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005, 08:32 GMT 09:32 UK
Small forced to give up snooker
Former World No.12 Chris Small has retired from snooker due to a degenerative spinal disease.

Small, 31, turned professional in 1991 and beat Alan McManus to win the LG Cup in 2002, but he has been fighting ankylotic spondylitis for five years.

"I just couldn't carry on after years of pain," the Scot told The Herald.

"I've had a good career and won plenty of money that's given me and my family a decent living. But I can't get my head up high enough to see the balls."

Leith-born Small has earned half a million pounds from the sport, but his condition had required monthly steroid injections and he had recently slipped down the rankings.

"I've had a great career and I know that the top players, like Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins and Alan McManus, didn't like playing me," he said.

"I'm proud of my achievements, but now it's all over for me.

"I've hung up my cue for the last time."

Small had been forced to withdraw from his world championship first-round match against McManus in 2004 as a result of his illness.

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